Add Center Across Selection to the Merge & Center Drop-down
Do you hate Merged Cells? Do you believe Merged Cells are evil? Do you curse every time your selection rectangle goes from one column to five columns just because you touched a merged cell? Do you constantly get workbooks from co-workers who continue to merge cells? Tired of not being able to Sort or Paste because someone merged a cell?
Excel encourages people to use Merge & Center by offering it front-and-center on the Home tab. Thus, few people discover the (superior) Center Across Selection option on the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog.
Currently, the Merge & Center drop-down offers: Merge & Center, Merge Across, Merge Cells, UnMerge.
My request: Adding a fifth item of "Center Across Selection" to the drop-down.
As a bonus, add a tool tip explaining the perils of merged cells and how Center Across Selection is superior in nearly every way.
Thanks for voting!
Sharon Fry commented
Big thanks to Bill on this one!
Here's another concern with Merged Cells that I've recently learned of - screen readers used by visually-challenged people don't handle them well.
I would like to see Center Across Selection work for numeric values too.
Also, I'm curious on the comments that mention a "Left Across Selection" and "Right Across Selection". Why would one not simply put the text into the left-most or right-most cells and then Align Left or Align Right? The text automatically overflows over the other cells.
Andrew Ashurst commented
Bills original point was not only to add a centre -across selection icon front and centre in the standard interface but also to discourage (three cheers from me) the use of merged cells. Only very occasionally is there really no other way than using merged cells. I guess MS could add "Left Across Selection", "Right Across Selection" etc, although I think that would be overkill. I would think that most of us that use "Centre Across Selection" a lot, like me, have recorded and then minimally edited and assigned to a shortcut a little macro that does it. The same could easily be done for "Left Across Selection" etc if you use that a lot. I think the thing is to stop people using merge....
Vladimir Salnikov commented
"And also please add Left Across Selection, Right Across Selection & Vertical (Top/Middle/Bottom) Across Selection!"
This is a great idea!!!
Travis Day commented
And also please add Left Across Selection, Right Across Selection & Vertical (Top/Middle/Bottom) Across Selection!
I agree - really important requirement! Merged cells are so dangerous. I have even tried unsuccessfully to add Center Across Selection to the ribbon, but it doesn't appear under All Commands, or Commands not in the Ribbon, so I've had to do it with a macro in my personal workbook! Such a pain.
And yes, if you DO add it, make it work vertically too please
As an improvement, I would add that "Center Across Selection" should ideally be able to work across Vertical ranges as well. As of now, it doesn't work with vertical headers.
I work with excel extensively. The merge feature is the single most frustrating feature in excel. Providing easy access to the center across selection feature would dramatically improve user experience and save us all a great deal of time. This should be a high priory enhancement that is easy to action. Inaction suggest you don't care about user experience or you don't recognize this as a priority. Please address this issue as a priority.
FML i cannot believe MS has taken nearly 2 years to do nothing about this. I echo every single one of Bill's sentiments. Im so sick and tired of getting merged cells from other users.
Ditto on Lubomír Tosek's comment. Lets see Left Across Selection and Right Across Selection too. And add vertical across selections too.
Ben Sacheri commented
This is a no-brainer. Microsoft, please make this feature more accessible.
Or just put a Center Across Selection command in the All Commands list in the customize ribbon utility, so I can easily add this button myself and put it where I want!
Mark Syptak commented
Create a command icon that can "center across selection" that can be added to the quick access tool bar.
And extend it to work vertically as well as horizontally, please!
Chris Newman commented
Just put a "Center Across" button in the Alignment Group on the Ribbon. There's a great little spot for it between the "Wrap Text" and "Merge & Center buttons" :)
Would also like to see it work vertically as well.
And if you are up for more improvements, it would be nice if Center Across text would display when some columns are collapsed via a group (Merged cells do this currently - see: https://www.thespreadsheetguru.com/blog/when-merging-cells-is-needed).
Lubomír Tosek commented
Of course, I agree.
But it is not enought.
Center Across Selection must be followed by Left Across Selection and Right Across Selection!
Is good that you've merged the discussions. But make Center Across the default! That's super important. I'd say, change the "Merge & Center drop-down" to a "Center Across drop-down" where you could find the merge in the very bottom hehehe....
Anders Ebro (TheSmileyCoder) commented
I would say that 99% of the time people merge cells they should be centering instead.
Whoever just merged two "Center Across" threads, thanks and well done.
Does this mean someone from MS is actually looking at this stuff?
Please also include the next two while you're at it:
(The whole board needs massive data cleansing, as there are duplicated threads all over the place, much worse than this topic - try a search on conditional formatting!)
I didn't even realize Center Across Selection existed before I stumbled on this thread! So glad I did, now I'm using it regularly... and whish it was easier to access (and that the "bad" option of merging cells wasn't so easy to access)
Ed Hansberry commented
Center Across Selection should be the default action as it has the least amount of side effects (destroying ability to sort, causing problems for Tables, adding data to Power Pivot or Power Query, etc.)