If you have two or more cells in Google Sheets that you want to combine into one, you can merge the cells with a built-in tool. This lets you merge cells horizontally, vertically, or both.
You may be worried about losing data when you merge cells in your worksheet. This is a legitimate concern due to how the merge tool works. Luckily, once you know the correct way to merge cells in Google Sheets, you won’t have to worry anymore.
Let’s take a look at how to merge cells in Google Sheets and the options for preserving your data when you do so.
Merge Cells in Google Sheets
You may have column headers or even row headers that you want to merge into a single clean cell. But you can merge all cells in your worksheet, including cell ranges, columns, and rows.
Step 1: Select the cells you want to merge by dragging your cursor across them. (Note: You can only merge adjacent cells.)
2nd step: Click it Merge cells drop-down arrow in the toolbar or Format > Merge cells from the menu.
Step 3: Choose the type of merge you want to use for your cells from these options:
- Merge all: Merge all selected cells horizontally and vertically.
- Merge vertically: Merge cells on top of each other.
- Merge horizontally: Merge cells to the right and left of each other.
If an option is grayed out, it does not apply to the selected cells. For example, if you select cells in a row like in our screenshot below, you will only see Merge horizontally available.
Step 4: After choosing the merge option, you will see your cells merged into one cell.
Step 5: When you have data in the cells you are merging, an alert appears to let you know that only the data in the top left cell will remain. If that works for you, click OKAY to continue merging cells.
If you prefer not to continue because you will lose data, click Cancel.
You can then manually combine the data or search for one of the options below to join this data.
Combine data into a new cell
You can combine data in cells using the ampersand (&) operator and a basic formula.
Step 1: Navigate to the new cell where you want to join the data and enter the cell references for the cells to be combined with the ampersand between them like this:
2nd step: If you want a separator between the data like a space or a hyphen, you can add it to the formula as follows:
Here you see a space in quotes separating the data we will be combining.
The above two formulas combine the values of these cells into a single string.
Step 3: You can then replace the cell containing the data that will be kept with the results of the formula or simply use the new cell(s) with the combined data.
Use the Merge Values add-on
Another option is to use the Google Sheets Merge Values add-on. This extension allows you to preserve your data when merging cells with an easy to use interface.
Keep in mind that Merge Values is a third-party add-on that requires access to your Google Account for Google Sheets. You can view these permissions in the extension description.
Step 1: Once you’ve installed the add-on, go back to your sheet, select the cells you want to merge, and click Extensions > Merge values > To start up from the menu.
2nd step: When the add-on sidebar appears, fill in the details to merge the cells and keep the data.
Choose how to merge the selected values: Choose from each selected row, from each selected column, or from a cell.
Separate the values by: Select your separator from a space, semicolon, comma or line break.
Put the results in: Choose where you want your results from the left or right cell.
Option : Check the boxes for additional options you want to apply, such as skipping blank cells or wrapping text.
Step 3: Click on Merge when you are ready and your data will be combined and the cells merged.
Be aware that the Merge Values add-on is free for a trial period and then requires a paid subscription.
Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets
If you merge a set of cells in Google Sheets and later decide you want them in separate cells again, you can ungroup them. Keep in mind that you can only unmerge cells that you have merged.
Select the cell you want to ungroup. Click it Merge cells drop-down arrow in the toolbar or Format > Merge cells in the menu and choose Unmerge.
Merging cells in Google Sheets is a handy feature and especially useful for column and row headers. Hopefully one of the options listed here for retaining your data if needed works for you!
To use additional features, learn how to create a chart or table in Google Sheets.