Table of Contents

Spreadsheets make it easy to be organized. Programs like Excel are great for work, household budgets, calendars, or anything else that involves sorting large amounts of information. If you don’t know how to use them, however, the results can end up less “organized” and more “incoherently chaotic.” For example, do you know how to merge cells in Excel on Mac? Merging cells lets you turn several cells into one, which is helpful for creating headings that cover multiple columns.

Excel gives you multiple ways to achieve this, but not all of them are useful for every situation. The simple guide below will help you through the entire process, so you can create sleek, organized spreadsheets for all of your needs.

How to Merge Cells in Excel on Mac (Step by Step)

Need to figure out how to combine multiple cells into one? Looking for merging cells in Excel shortcut? We’ve got you covered:

1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.

If you already have a sheet you’d like to merge cells in, great! If not, open a new one to practice on.

2. Make sure the "Home" tab is up.

You need to have the “Home” tap open. If it isn’t, click on it to bring it up.

3. Choose the cells that you want to combine.

Select these cells by clicking and dragging. Make sure that all of the cells you wish to merge are selected. Note that you can only merge adjacent cells — this won’t work if they aren’t next to each other.

4. Select "Merge & Center."

On the “Home” tab, all the way to the right, you should see a drop-down menu. Select “Merge & Center” here. If you don’t want to center, select “Merge Cells” or “Merge Across” instead.

If this option isn’t available to you, you might be scratching your head and wondering, “Why can’t I merge cells in Excel?” This usually happens because you’re trying to merge part of a table. You can’t merge cells that are already in a table.

How to Merge Cells in Excel on Mac (Older Versions)

If the descriptions in the above guide seem totally unfamiliar to you, your version of Excel may be from a few years ago. So, where is merge and center in Excel if you have an old version? As it turns out, it’s a bit more hidden. After selecting the cells you wish to merge, here’s how to combine them:

1. Control-click the selected cells.

This will bring up a menu with several options. Near the bottom, you should see “Format Cells.”

2. Select "Format Cells."

This will open a popup menu with multiple tabs, including “Number,” “Alignment,” “Font,” “Border,” “Fill,” and “Protection.”

3. Click on "Alignment."

This will show you options for orienting the text in the selected cells. Below that, you should see a section labeled “Text control,” with a check box marked “Merge cells.”

4. Check "Merge cells."

Click on the check box. Make sure a blue check appears.

5. Click "OK."

Return to the spreadsheet, and your cells will be combined!

How to Merge Cells in Excel Without Losing Data

Merging cells using the above methods works, but is best for empty cells. If the cells you want to combine contain data, all but the contents of the upper leftmost cell will be lost. If you want to keep your data, there are some other methods that can help.

Method 1: Concatenate.

Say you have two columns, labeled “Month” and “Day.” What if you want to combine them into a single column called “Date?” To do that, you need to use the concatenate formula.

Click on an empty cell, and type in =CONCATENATE(cell location 1, cell location 2). For example, if we wanted to merge cells A2 and B2 into cell C3, we would click on C3 and type in =CONCATENATE(A2,B2).

CONCATENATE also works on cells that aren’t adjacent. In this way, it’s less limiting than using the “Merge” command.

Method 2. Use "&."

Instead of concatenating, you can also refer to the cells directly. Click on an empty cell and type in =cell location 1&” “&cell location 2. Using the example above, we would click on C3 and type in =A2&” “&B2.

Like CONCATENATE, this also works on cells that aren’t immediately adjacent. Use this instead of “Merge” when you need to combine cells that aren’t next to each other.

How to Create a Merge Cells in Excel Shortcut

Now that you know how to merge cells in Excel on Mac, how can you do it faster? While Excel for Windows has a keyboard shortcut for pretty much everything, Excel for Mac is a bit more limited. Unfortunately, there isn’t a native shortcut for merging cells. If you want one, you’ll have to make one.

1. Click on the "Tools" menu.

In the top menu bar, click on the “Tools” heading. This will open the “Tools” dropdown menu.

2. Click "Customize Keyboard."

At the very bottom of the “Tools” menu, you should see an option titled “Customize Keyboard.” That’s the one we want right now.

3. Find the category of the "Merge" command.

Scroll through the commands under “Categories” until you find it. Excel has a lot of commands, so you may still be wondering, “Where is merge and center in Excel?” If you’re having trouble finding it, click on the search bar under “Commands” and type “Merge.” This should bring up all merging-related commands within Excel.

4. Type your desired shortcut under "Press New Keyboard Shortcut."

If your desired shortcut is already in use by another command, Excel will tell you. After that, you can choose a different key combination to create your shortcut. Keep trying until you find one that isn’t already being used.

5. Click "Add."

This will add your custom shortcut to the library. If you’re not sure you’ll remember how to merge cells in Excel on Mac with your new shortcut, you may want to write it down somewhere until you get used to using it.

6. Click "OK."

Click the “OK” button, and test out your shortcut! Make sure it’s comfortable, memorable, and easier to use than doing it the long way. If it ends up not working out for you, you can change it at any time by going back to the “Customize Keyboard” window, finding the “Merge” command, clicking on your keyboard shortcut in the “Current Keys” box, and clicking “Remove.”

If you have a lot of shortcuts and want to get rid of them, you can also go to the “Customize Keyboard” window and select “Reset All.” Note that you can only remove or reset custom shortcuts. For default shortcuts, these options will be grayed out.


What is the shortcut to merge cells in Excel Mac?

Excel for Mac doesn’t have the extensive library of shortcuts that the Windows version does. The good news here is that the shortcut is anything you want it to be. The bad news is that you’ll have to set it up yourself. Follow the guide above to create a new merge shortcut.

Why can't I merge cells in Excel?

If you’re having trouble merging cells in Excel, your cells might be formatted in a table. Cells within a table can’t be merged. You’ll have to break the table first.

How do I merge cells in Excel without merge and center?

You can use formulas like =CONCATENATE or reference the cells directly. This is a good choice if you need to merge cells that already contain data since it’ll keep you from losing the contents of these cells.

How can I figure out which cells are merged, and which aren't?

If you’re dealing with a large spreadsheet with many merged cells, you can use the “Find” command to spot them. From there, you can change their formatting, center or uncenter them, or even unmerge them.

Tips and Tricks:

Made a mistake merging? Fix it quickly.

You can easily unmerge a cell by following pretty much the same instructions you did to merge it. For newer versions, select “Unmerge” in the drop-down menu. For older ones, uncheck “Merge cells.”

Can't split an unmerged cell? No problem!

Unmerging only works on cells that have been merged. You can’t split an individual cell into smaller cells. However, you can fake it by merging the header cell to make it encompass more than one column.

Need to Know How to Merge Cells in Excel on Mac? Here's How:

A lot of guides for Excel users focus on Windows, and Mac users get left behind. If you want to learn how to merge cells in Excel on Mac, just open up your spreadsheet and do the following:

  1. Make sure the “Home” menu is up.
  2. Select the cells that you want to merge.
  3. Select “Merge & Center,” “Merge Cells,” or “Merge Across” on the “Home” menu.

If you’re using an older version of Excel, or need to merge cells without losing data, the guide above can give you more in-depth solutions to these formatting questions.

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support Clever Sequence

Close this search box.

Latest Guides