Microsoft Excel: Hidden mergers

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q: What's the best way to find the merged cells in a workbook created by someone else?

A: To find merged cells in Excel, press Ctrl+F to launch the Find and Replace dialog box and click the Options button to display the tool's additional options. On the Find tab, select either Sheet or Workbook from the Within dropdown box, position your cursor in the Find what dropdown box, and then select the Format button to launch the Find Format dialog box. On the Alignment tab, place a check in the Merge cells box and click OK to close the Find Format dialog box, and then click the Find All button.

This action will display a list of all merged cells in the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box. Bonus tip: If your objective is simply to remove all merged cells from a worksheet, press Ctrl+A to select the entire worksheet, right-click anywhere on the worksheet, and select Format Cells from the pop-up menu; on the Alignment tab uncheck the Merge cells box, and then click OK.

Hidden mergers

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ( is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor. Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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