How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns?

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For formatting purpose, we usually have to wrap text across multiple cells. A common way to do this would be using the “merge and center” function. However, merging cells can result in a few problems.

In this article, we are going to show you how to center cells over multiple columns without leading to the problems of merging cells.

To center text across more than one column, you will need to use Center Across Selection.

What is Center Across Selection?

Center Across Selection allows you to center cell over multiple columns without merging.

Unlike Merge & Center, Center Across Selection keep your selected cells in their original place. The text may seemingly overlaying the cells but it’s actually not.

It serves as an alternative to merging cells in Excel.

Let’s say I want to make the text “Dollar Excel Team Information” center across column A through column D.

How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns
Before Center Across Selection
How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns
After Center Across Selection
The text “Dollar Excel Team Information” still stay in Cell A1 while Cell B1, C1 and D1 remains empty

Difference between Merge & Center and Center Across Selection

Merge & CenterCenter Across Selection
Working DirectionBoth horizontally and verticallyOnly works horizontally
Merge cellsYesNo
Can be filtered onNoYes
NavigationHarder to navigateNot affected
Only keep the upper-left value?YesNo, all cells remain in place

How to access Center Across Selection?

How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns
Under Home tab, go to the Alignment tab and open the Format Cells Dialogue box.
How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns
From the horizontal menu, select Center Across Selection and press “OK” button

Step By Step Video Tutorial (12 seconds)

Here is a 12-second Step By Step Center Across Selection Tutorial. Click the video and learn this cool tricks!

Step By Step Video Tutorial (12 seconds)

When do you need to center cells across selection?

  1. When you don’t want to merge cells
  2. When you want to have a nice formatting
  3. When your Excel file is more of a database rather than data presentation

Why you should avoid merging cells at all cost

How To Center Cells Across Multiple Columns
Merging function in Excel

There are a tons of problems that you could face if you merge cells in Excel.

  1. Copy and paste made a lot harder
  2. You could not filter on merged cells
  3. You have to be a lot more careful when moving merged cells
  4. Make your data hard to read by other people

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