Don’t use “Merge Cells” in Excel!

Today’s tip – avoid merging and centering cells in Excel!

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Why? It’s borderline evil. Someday, you will be trying select a cell range and will run across a merged and centered cell, which will annoyingly break your selection. Or you’ll be trying to sort a table…and you find merged and centered cells and you end up shaking your fist at the error that appears saying “To do this, all the merged cells need to be the same size”. It doesn’t help that Excel enables this habit, by putting a helpful Merge and Center button on the Home tab on the Ribbon.

So what’s a person supposed to do? To get the same cool merged effect, instead try using the command “Center Across Selection”. To do this select the text you want to merge across cells. Hit Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog. Click the Alignment tab, then Text Alignment->Horizontal and select “Center Across Selection”.

And voila –  your selection/sorting errors with Merge And Center should now be gone!