Excel – How do I merge cells within a range that is formatted as a Table?

PROBLEM: when I use “Format as Table” to format a range the “Merge and Center” button becomes inactive and I can no longer merge cells.  Why?
SOLUTION: the Table format will stop the merging of cells.  However there is a work-around.

The Format as Table command can be used to quickly apply a professional format to a selected range.  However, in applying the format you are also applying the functionality that Tables offer.  As a result you will no longer be able to merge cells.

To remove the Table functionality and keep the formatting:

  1. Apply the Table format.
  2. Select any cell within the formatted range and then click the Table Tools, Design tab up on the Ribbon.
  3. On here you will find a button called Convert to Range.  Click this and then click Yes.
  4. Your range will now be converted back to a normal range and you will now be able to merge the cells. .  The formatting will remain.   However all of the functionality that goes with using Tables will no longer be available.

Inserting Tables is covered in my Excel Stage 3 course – Data cleaning and Reporting, along with utilising Tables for dynamic data ranges in Pivot Tables.

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