How to Merge Cells in Word 2016 Tables: A Step-by-Step Guide

Merging cells in Word 2016 tables is a simple task that can be accomplished in just a few clicks. Select the cells you want to merge, right-click, and choose “Merge Cells” from the context menu. This action combines multiple cells into a single cell, allowing for a cleaner and more organized table layout.

After you merge cells, the content of the selected cells will be combined into one cell. This can help eliminate unnecessary borders and create a more visually appealing table. However, it’s important to note that merging cells will remove any individual cell formatting and can affect the overall structure of your table.


Merging cells in tables is a common formatting task that can significantly enhance the appearance and functionality of your documents in Word 2016. Whether you’re creating a report, a schedule, or a project plan, tables are crucial for organizing and presenting data in a clear, concise manner. But if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of Word’s table tools, you may find yourself scratching your head over how to get your tables to look just right.

Why is merging cells important, you ask? Well, it can help you create headers that span multiple columns, emphasize certain pieces of information, or simplify the design of your table by removing unnecessary lines. It’s a feature that’s useful for students, professionals, and anyone in between who wants to make their documents look polished and professional.

In today’s digital age, where documents are shared and viewed on screens of all sizes, having well-organized tables is more important than ever. In this article, we’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of merging cells in Word 2016 tables, so you can take your table game to the next level. Let’s get started!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Merge Cells in Word 2016 Tables

Before we dive into the steps, it’s worth mentioning that merging cells allows you to create a single cell out of multiple adjacent cells. This can be especially useful for creating headers that span several columns or rows.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the document containing the table you wish to modify.

This step is self-explanatory. You need to have your document open to make any changes to it.

Step 2: Select the cells

Click and drag to select the cells you want to merge.

Make sure you only select the cells that you want to combine. If you accidentally select additional cells, you can always click away and try again.

Step 3: Right-click the selection

Right-click on the highlighted cells to bring up the context menu.

It’s important to right-click within the selected area to ensure that the correct options are displayed in the context menu.

Step 4: Choose “Merge Cells”

Click on “Merge Cells” from the context menu.

After you click this option, the selected cells will immediately be merged into a single cell.


Cleaner LayoutMerging cells can eliminate unnecessary borders and lines, creating a cleaner, more professional look for your table.
Emphasize InformationMerging cells can help draw attention to specific pieces of information, such as a title or a particular data point.
FlexibilityMerging cells allows for greater flexibility in table design and can help accommodate content that doesn’t fit into the standard grid structure.


Loss of FormattingWhen you merge cells, any individual cell formatting will be lost.
Structural ChangesThe structure of your table can be affected by merging cells, which may require additional adjustments to achieve the desired layout.
Data ManagementIf you need to sort or filter table data, merging cells can complicate the process.

Additional Information

Now that you know how to merge cells in Word 2016 tables, keep in mind that this feature is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about functionality. Merged cells can help you create a focal point in your table or ensure that your headers are properly aligned with the columns or rows they represent. Remember, though, not to overdo it. Merging too many cells can make your table harder to read and navigate.

Additionally, if you’re working with a table that has already been filled with data, be cautious when merging cells. The content of the cells you merge will be combined, which might result in some text being pushed together. If the text doesn’t fit into the new, larger cell, it may be truncated or wrapped in a way that’s not ideal. Always double-check your content after merging cells to make sure everything is displayed correctly.

Furthermore, consider how merging cells might affect other people who need to work with the table. If your document is part of a collaborative project, make sure your team members are aware of the changes you’ve made, as it could impact their ability to edit or update the table.

Lastly, while this article focuses on Word 2016, the process of merging cells is relatively similar in other versions of Word. So, even if you upgrade to a newer version, you’ll be able to apply these skills with ease.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Select the cells you want to merge.
  3. Right-click the selection.
  4. Choose “Merge Cells”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I merge non-adjacent cells?

No, you can only merge cells that are next to each other, either horizontally or vertically.

Will merging cells affect the text inside them?

Yes, the text from all merged cells will be combined into one cell. It might become cluttered, so you may need to adjust it manually.

Can I undo a merge if I make a mistake?

Absolutely! Just like any other action in Word, merging cells can be undone by pressing Ctrl + Z or by clicking the “Undo” button.

How do I unmerge cells if I change my mind?

To unmerge cells, select the merged cell, right-click, and choose “Split Cells” from the context menu. Then specify the number of columns or rows you want to split the cell into.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for merging cells?

There isn’t a direct keyboard shortcut, but you can use Alt + J, L, M to access the “Merge Cells” command without using the mouse.


Mastering how to merge cells in Word 2016 tables is a valuable skill that can help you create more effective and aesthetically pleasing documents. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who likes to keep their data tidy, understanding the ins and outs of table formatting is a practical addition to your Word toolkit.

Keep experimenting with different table designs and remember that merging cells is just one of the many features Word offers to help you present your information in the best possible way. Happy merging!

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