How to Merge Cells In Google Sheets (Shortucts + Example)

Learn how to merge two or more than two cells to arrange your spreadsheet better...

Shivam Kumar blogger image
Shivam Kumar
Updated on :

Just like any other spreadsheet tool, Google Sheets also allows you to merge two or more cells into one larger cell.

There are many reasons why you might want to do this, but a common use of merging cells is to create a heading label that needs to span multiple columns.

Regardless of any reason, it’s a fairly simple process.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to merge cells in Google Sheets (step-by-step)


How to Merge Cells In Google Sheets?

To merge cells in Google Sheets, highlight the text you would like to hyperlink > open Insert menu > click on insert links > enter the URL in the ‘Link’ text box and click on the ‘Apply’ button.

01. Types of Merge Option in Google Sheets

Before we move on to the actual process of merging cells in Google Sheets, you first need to understand the different types of merging options available in Google Sheets.

  • Merge All – The ‘merge all’ feature combine all of the selected cells into one big cell. You can only merge all cells if they are next to each other. If you select non-contiguous cells, the option to merge all won’t be available. 
Merge all option in google sheets
  • Merge Horizontally – This option combine all the cells in a row but maintains the columns. In case you have only selected the cells in one row, merging horizontally will do essentially the same thing as merging all.
Merge Horizontally in Google Sheets
  • Merge Vertically – This option will combine the columns while maintaining the rows. In case your all selected cells belong to a single column, merging vertically will do essentially the same thing as merging all.
Merge Vertically in Google Sheets

02. Merge Cells in Google Sheets Using Format Menu

Suppose you have a dataset something like this:

Quarterly report spreadsheet example

Now you want the heading label “Quarterly Report” to span over all the quarters (1,2,3,4) column.

Here’s how we can merge cells B1, C1, D1, and E1 to achieve the desired effect.

  1. Open a new or existing spreadsheet where you want to merge cells.
open quarterly report spreadsheet
  1. Highlight two or more adjacent cells you want to merge (I am merging B1, C1, D1 and E1 in the example).
Highlight the cells to merge
  1. Open the Format menu.
Open format menu in Google Sheets
  1. In the drop-down menu, click Merge and then select the type of merge you want to apply. In our example, all the selected cells belongs to one single row, so ‘merge all’ or ‘merge horizontally’ will give same effect.
Merge cells in google spreadsheet

That’s it! You’ve successfully merged the cells.

Merged Cells B1 to E1

03. Merge Cells in Google Sheets Using Toolbar

Another way to access the merge options is through the toolbar menu.

All you need to do is highlight the cells you want to merge (similar to the above method)

Highlight the cells to merge

Then click on the small down arrow icon appearing near the ‘Merge cells’ icon in the toolbar and choose the type of merging you want to apply.

Merge icon in google sheets toolbar

04. Shortcut to merge cells in Google Sheets

Does the above process sound like too much work to you?

I have a good news for you!

There is a faster way to merge cells in Google sheets using keyboard shortcuts.

Just highlight the cells you want to merge and then use one of the shortcuts according to your device.

Types of MergingWindowsMac
Merge AllAlt + Shift, O, M, ACtrl + Opt, O, M, A
Merge HorizontallyAlt + Shift, O, M, HCtrl + Opt, O, M, H
Merge VerticallyAlt + Shift, O, M, VCtrl + Opt, O, M, V

05. Merge Cells in Google Sheets Without Losing Data

Do you know if you merge multiple cells having different data, the merged cell will retain the value only from the top-left cell?

For example, suppose I have the first name and last name of a person in cells A2 and B2 respectively.

unmerged cells

Now if I merge cell A2 and B2, I’ll be only left with first name ( Cell A2) data.

data lose after merging cells

But what if you want to retain the combined data (in other words, merge cells without losing data)?

Well, there is a workaround for this…

Here’s how it works:

  1. First of all, navigate to Extensions > Add-ons > Get Add-ons
Get add-on in google sheets
  1. Search for “Merge Value” add-ons and install it following the install prompts.
Install Merge values add-on
  1. Once the add-on is installed, highlight the cells you want to merge.
highlight A2 and B2 cell
  1. Next, navigate to Extensions > Merge Value > Start
Merge value add-on
  1. This will open the Merge Values settings pane in right side where you can configure how you want the merged cells to appear.
merge value settings pane
  1. First decide in what direction you want to join the highlighted data. (This is similar to merge horizontally, merge vertically, and merge all option.) In our example, I want to combine names within each row, so I’ll pick the option “In each selected row”
choose how to merge the selected values
  1. Next, choose how you want to sepearte the merged values. In our case, a simple space will be good here.
Separate value with
  1. Then choose where to place the results. When joining value in rows, you can put them into the left or to the right cell in the selected range. You will get different option when you choose to combine data differently in step 6.
left cell
  1. Finally, check the box appearing before Merge cells in each row (under option section) and click Merge
merge selected cells
  1. That’s it… The above steps would merge the selected cells without losing any data.
Merged cells

Final Thought on Merging Cells

Learning how to merge cells in Google Sheets helps you format and arrange your spreadsheet data better. You can merge cells, vertically, horizontally, or both at the same time.

You can also use an add-on called “Merge Values” that will help you merge cells in Google Sheets without losing data.

If you’ve any questions regarding merging cells, comment down below.

Leave a Comment