Convert Merged cells to Centre Across Selection with VBA

VBA Code Snippets

To merge or not to merge?  That is the question.  And it’s a questions which divides the Excel community.  We find the Merge & Center button is on the Ribbon, so it appears to be the only option.  But soon we are greeted by these types of annoying error messages:

Merged Cell Error

Excel has a secret alternative option called Center Across Selection, which once you’ve found it, you’ll never return to merging cells again.

Visually the two options look very similar

Merged vs Center Across Selection

Functionally they are very different, the lack of annoying error messages for starters.

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Applying center across selection manually

Center Across Selection is available form the Format Cells window.

Select the cells you wish to center across, click Home -> Alignment Settings.

Home Alignment Settings

The Format Cells window will open. On the Alignment tab.  From the Horizontal drop-down select Center Across Selection.

Format Cells Center Across Selection

Finally, click OK to close the window.

If you do use this method a lot, you can save some time by adding the icon to the QAT or using an Add-in.

What happens if you already have a workbook with lots of merged cells?  Are you really going to go through cell by cell to change them all?  Thankfully, you don’t have to, I have written a macro which will do the conversion for you 🙂

Convert all Merged cells to Center Across Selection

As you might be using this macro a lot, I suggest you add it to your Personal Macrobook for fast access.

Sub ConvertMergedCellsToCenterAcross()

Dim c As Range
Dim mergedRange As Range

'Check active sheet is a worksheet
If TypeName(ActiveSheet) <> "Worksheet" Then Exit Sub

'Loop through all cells in Used range
For Each c In ActiveSheet.UsedRange

    'If merged and single row
    If c.MergeCells = True And c.MergeArea.Rows.Count = 1 Then

        'Set variable for the merged range
        Set mergedRange = c.MergeArea

        'Unmerge the cell and apply Centre Across Selection
        mergedRange.UnMerge
        mergedRange.HorizontalAlignment = xlCenterAcrossSelection

    End If

Next

End Sub

Center Across Selection does not work across rows, it only centers across columns.  We want to maintain the integrity of the spreadsheet, therefore, this macro has been specifically designed to not remove any merged cells which cover more than one row.  To select all the remaning merged cell you can follow the code in my VBA to select merged cells post.

Don’t forget:

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you have a better approach, then please leave a comment below.

Do you need help adapting this to your needs?

I’m guessing the examples in this post didn’t exactly meet your situation.  We all use Excel differently, so it’s impossible to write a post that will meet everybody’s needs.  By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site) you should be able to adapt it to your needs.

But, if you’re still struggling you should:

  1. Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic.  You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
  2. Ask the ‘Excel Ninja’ in your office.  It’s amazing what things other people know.
  3. Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community.  Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free.  So take care to craft your question, make sure it’s clear and concise.  List all the things you’ve tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
  4. Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner.   They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.

What next?
Don’t go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid.  Check out the latest posts:

3 thoughts on “Convert Merged cells to Centre Across Selection with VBA

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    You can go to Excel UserVoice and vote for Microsoft to add Center Across Selection to the ribbon, so it’s easier to access:
    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/31663255-add-center-across-selection-to-the-merge-center
    You can also use MVP Chris Newman’s add-in to add a Center Across button before Microsoft gets around to it:
    https://www.thespreadsheetguru.com/blog/add-center-across-selection-button-to-excel-home-tab

  2. Nick says:

    I never take the time to write replies like this but I have to say, this write up along with the one on inserting comments are the best I’ve read in a long time. If there’s anything I can do to help promote the site please let me know.

    • Excel Off The Grid says:

      Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate the support.

      In terms of helping me promote the site, the best compliment you could give would be to recommend the site to friends and co-workers.

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