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!
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.)
Absolutely agree. Merged cells are evil.
Center Across Selection should be able to be added to the Quick Access Toolbar too!
Absolutely agree!! Merging cells should only be done as a last resort.
Whenever I give training to Excel newbies, one of the first things I tell them is NOT to merge cells, and I show them Center Across Selection.
Surely Center Across Selection should be the default approach.
I am absolutely astonished that you can't even add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. Craziness!!
Jørgen Koch commented
I was about to make almost the same so I will vote for this instead.
But I also suggest that Microsoft actually makes Center Across Selection default and the eventually hides the Merge & Center way down in the drop-down (hopefully total removes it from the drop-down).
Jamie McIntyre commented
There is another suggestion that looks much the same as this one and has about 300 votes (which is odd because this one has been around much longer):
Yes please!!!! I use that formatting all the time, as it's much better than merging cells as it doesn't cause problems with selecting ranges, copying & pasting the way merged cells do.
Yes, I hate merged cells! Yes they are Evil! Seriously they create so many problems!
While I am comfortable using a macro for Centre Across Selection, I cannot believe that Merge and Centre has such a prominent position in the home tab and the far superior (for 95% of scenarios) Centre Across Selection is hidden in the alignment dialog box.
The only time Merge and Centre is better is when we need to merge rows but a vertical Centre Across Selection would be better for that too. There's a suggestion for that somewhere - please go vote for it!
Alan Murray commented
I intentionally have an exercise on my Excel courses for beginners that includes merged cells, and how they make the task the students have at hand awkward. It makes them appreciate the benefits of Center Across Selection over Merge and Center immediately.
Please get the Center Across Selection feature made more accessible.
There is a similar request running as well.
Excel should not accept Merge in cells with formulas
thank you so much for highlighting this! Never knew, I thought I was a dab hand!