Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Controlling the size of cells
Figure 9-63 Most of the cells in the top five rows of this worksheet, and a couple in the sixth
row, are merged in various combinations.
You’ll find the School Financial Application Form.xlsx file with the other examples on the
companion website.
When you merge cells, the new big cell uses the address of the cell in the upper-left corner,
as shown in Figure 9-63. Cell A1 is selected, as you can see in the Name box. (In the figure,
we also expanded the formula bar to show the three rows of text in the merged cell.) The
headings for rows 1, 2, and 3 and columns A and B are highlighted, which would
ordinarily indicate that the range A1:B3 is selected. For all practical purposes, however, cells A2:A3
and B1:B3 no longer exist. The other merged cells, or the subsidiary cells, act like blank cells
when referred to in formulas and return zero (or an error value, depending on the type of
In Figure 9-63, the information in the formula bar is on three lines. To enter line breaks
within a cell, press Alt+Enter. For more information, see “Formula-bar formatting” in
Chapter 12.
Merging cells obviously has interesting implications, considering that it seems to violate the
grid—one of the defining attributes of spreadsheet design. That’s not as bad as it sounds,
but keep in mind these tips:
If you select a range to merge and any single cell contains text, a value, or a formula,
the contents are relocated to the new big cell.
If you select a range of cells to merge and more than one cell contains text or values,
only the contents of the uppermost, leftmost cell are relocated to the new big cell.
Contents of subsidiary cells are deleted; therefore, if you want to preserve data in
subsidiary cells, make sure you add it to the upper-left cell or relocate it.
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