Tables in Excel

jeffiepoo used Ask the Experts™
hey experts, here is the problem:

I have a bunch of data mapped out in excel. Prior to creating a table, I have a bunch of data, one column is normal, the other column is spread across 8 cells and all of the cells are merged. So this second cell is spread across the whole page.

I NEED to make this thing into a table. When I go to Format as table, it turns my second column (made of merged cells) into 8 columns.

If I delete the unnecessary ones, then the column in the table is now really tiny, and I can't expand it without expanding the column for the entire spreadsheet.

How can I merge columns IN A TABLE?   (note: Excel 2007)

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Hi Jef,
Try to save your file as xls not xlsx and see the result,
if it still doesn't work then try to wrap the text in one cell instead of merge 8 cells.

good luck
hi Jeff,

As you have found merged cells cause problems - I recommend getting rid of merged cells.

Some combination of the below alternatives may help:
- not wrapping text at all & letting the text flow out to the right of the table (depending on the order of the columns).
- using [alt + enter] withn a single cell to create a linefeed & then expand the single column slightly less than you have previously.
- selecting the 8* cells across the different columns (in the same row) pressing [ctrl + 1], then on the Alignment tab choose "centre across selection" from the Horizontal dropdown.
*or fewer, if you also use  [alt + enter] as well.

I posted too soon

You'll need to also tick the "wrap text" option in conjunction with some of my other suggestions.

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The short answer is that you cannot merge columns in a table since that pretty much defeats the purpose of the table. :)

I haven't done too much work with formatting tables* so I just typed out a standard mantra for discouraging the use of merged cells. If you'd posted a couple of days earlier, you could have saved me some typing! ;-)

*For me, Tables are usually just data dumps from various db's & I don't need to "pretty them up".



Rorya, I disagree that it defeats the purpose of a table. But you are right, you cannot merge columns.


Doesn't defeat table's purpose

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