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Find Merged Cells in Excel

Monday, July 13th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

I don’t know about you but when I’m using MS Excel I’m always merging cells to make everything look “just right”.

The problem is that once cells are formatted that way there are a lot of things you may try to do with your worksheet that will not work with cells merged.

So, now what?

Well, I usually find myself separating any merges so that I can proceed with my work. (Of course, it has dawned on me that if I wait to merge them until the end then this isn’t necessary but the truth is that I never seem to be truly done… so it’s separating them that I must do.)

If you have just a couple of merge locations then it’s not a big problem to quickly find them.

But what if they’re spread out all over the place or you don’t remember where they are?

Do you sit and scroll through the worksheet hoping to find them all?

I hope not – at least I wouldn’t, not when I can make Excel do the work for me.


Good, then let’s take a look.

The feature we’re using today is the Find and Replace dialog box. Believe it or not, Find and Replace can be used to locate any cell with a certain formatting so that’s exactly what we intend to do.

To begin you need to start the Find and Replace feature. You’ll find that Ctrl + F does the trick fastest but just for the record, it’s located in the Edit menu, or for Word 2007 users it’s on the Home tab of the Ribbon.

Once looking at the Find and Replace dialog box you need to do two things. 1) Make sure that the Find What field is empty except for the cursor and, 2) click the Options button so that it’s expanded to look like this:


Next we need to click the Format button.


In the Find Format dialog box go to the Alignment tab, check the Merge Cells box and click OK.

Back in the Find and Replace dialog box you’re ready to either Find Next or Find All.

If you Find Next then Excel will move the selection to the next set of merged cells.

If you click Find All Excel will give you a list at the bottom of the dialog box where locations of merged cells are located.


You’ll find that the locations are linked to their locations. Click on any of them and Excel takes you to that location.

And… in case you aren’t aware… you can edit a worksheet with the Find and Replace dialog box open. Just slide it out of the way and get to work – but don’t bother closing it – this will allow you to jump from place to place on the list without starting over.

No more slow manual searches for you… find one or all but be sure to make Excel do the looking.

~ April

4 Responses to “Find Merged Cells in Excel”

  1. Ray says:

    I have tried the above and receive the following error code
    “Microsoft cannot find the data you are looking for”

  2. nb says:

    Ray, did you find a solution? I got the same error.

  3. Mari says:

    You have to select a cell outside the area you are looking in and then do the search. Go through clicking each section (my coworker merged cells in whole rows so I selected several at a time) and then unmerge them. It worked fantastically for me on a spreadsheet with over 10,000 rows. Thanks! (There were “only” 195 cells to unmerge but since they were on rows it still wasn’t that bad.)

  4. Jota says:

    This was PERFECT! Thank you for the help!

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