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MS Excel: Looking at Some New Merged Cell Behavior

If you’re a long-time user of Excel then you’re probably just like me when it comes to merged cells – merge them last because then tend to cause problems when editing items around them… adding columns, copy and paste issues…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the merged cell stuff. There’s no easier way to make titles look the way that they should!

But… in days of old when you wanted to do a lot of editing or to add a column that affected merged cells then you found yourself un-merging them, editing then re-merging them.

What a pain.

So we learned to wait and merge when we were pretty sure to minimize the painful work… of course, with that so ingrained in our habits it never occurred to many of us to see if it had changed.

I’m happy to report that with Excel 2007 & 2010 you’ll find that these problem situations are less abundant!

For example… if you add a column in a range that has merged cells then the merged cells simply expand to accommodate. If you had a 3-cell merge and added a column between the 1st and 2nd cells then the result will be a 4-cell merged space.

The same is true of removing those columns, no need to un-merge, add the column then re-merge… just add the column and keep right on moving.

I’m thinking that the best way for you to figure out these new behaviors is to do a little exploration. Now that you know to look for the new and improved merged cell editing go and give it a whirl!

~ April