How to Center Excel Headings without the Headache of Merged Cells

How to Center Excel Headings without the Headache of Merged Cells

By Marie McCooey

Merged cells in Excel worksheets can cause all kinds of problems when selecting columns, filtering, using PivotTables, etc.

Do you struggle with merged cells in your Excel worksheets?

If so, this post is for you.

When you need to center a report heading, it’s so tempting to select the cells and click the Merge & Center button directly above in the Alignment group of the Ribbon.

Merge and Center button

And this does result in the report title centered across the columns.

However, if you attempt to sort your data after applying Merge & Center alignment to the report title, the following message displays to remind you the report title is not just centered but merged and you will not be able to sort the merged data.

Merge Cell Sort Error

A Better Alternative to Centering an Excel Heading Across Multiple Columns

  1. First, type your heading in the left column of the row you want to center.Report Title
  2. Select the range of cells where the header should be centered across.
    Center Across Selection
  3. Press the Alignment drop-down arrow or press CTRL + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box.
    The Format Cells Alignment tab displays.
  4. Click the Horizontal drop-down arrow, select the Center Across Selection option and click OK.
    ormat Cells Center Across Selection

    The Report title in the leftmost cell is centered across the selected columns.Center Across SelectionYou can now select each cell individually and sort the data without the aggravation of merged cells.


  • For the Center Across Selection alignment to work, you can only enter data in the leftmost cell in the row.
  • To edit or format the report title, click in the leftmost cell of the row.

The next time you need to Center an Excel Report heading, remember Excel’s hidden Center Across Selection feature!

Excel's Secret DATEDIF Function

How to Calculate Age and Other Time Periods with Excel’s Secret DATEDIF Function

By Marie McCooey

How can you calculate the number of days, months or years between two dates?

For example:

  • Your age in days, months and years
  • An employee’s length of service
  • Length of a project

Let me introduce you to DATEDIF (i.e. Date difference), a very useful, but hidden function used to calculate the difference between two dates in the number of days, months or years. Continue reading

How to work faster in Excel

How to Work Faster in Excel

By Marie McCooey

We all love to save time.

And it has been proven, the quickest way to improve your speed when working on a computer is to use keyboard shortcuts.

In the 10 Excel keyboard shortcuts everyone should know post I shared 10 of the most popular Excel keyboard shortcuts.

Here are 10 more Excel shortcuts to add to your collection and help you become an Excel rock star. Continue reading

Discover hidden Word keyboard shortcuts

10 Word Keyboard Shortcuts to Help You Work Faster

By Marie McCooey

My Word class participants are always so eager and excited to learn keyboard shortcuts. They appreciate the time saved when they use keyboard shortcuts.

Discover these little-known Word keyboard shortcuts for yourself. Continue reading