Center Across Selection: Unify Text Display in Google Sheets

Have you ever wanted to make your text in Google Sheets look neat and professional by centering it across multiple columns? Well, it’s simpler than you might think! By using the ‘Center Across Selection’ feature, you can easily unify your text display without merging cells. It’s a handy trick for creating headers or titles that span multiple columns, and it only takes a few clicks to accomplish.

Step by Step Tutorial: Using ‘Center Across Selection’ in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re aiming to achieve. ‘Center Across Selection’ is a formatting option that allows you to center text across several columns without merging them. This means that each cell remains independent, which is particularly useful when sorting or filtering data.

Step 1: Select the cells you want to center across

Click and drag to highlight the cells where you want the text to be centered.

Selecting the right cells is crucial because only the text in the first cell of your selection will be displayed across the selected range. Make sure you include all the columns you want the text to span over.

Step 2: Open the Format menu

Click on the ‘Format’ tab at the top of your Google Sheets document.

Accessing the Format menu will provide you with a variety of options to customize the appearance of your cells and text, including the ‘Center Across Selection’ feature.

Step 3: Choose ‘Merge cells’ and then ‘Center across selection’

Hover over ‘Merge cells’ and another menu will appear where you can select ‘Center across selection’.

Although ‘Merge cells’ might sound like it will combine your cells into one, choosing ‘Center across selection’ keeps the cells separate while centering the text. It’s the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality.

After completing these steps, your text will be beautifully centered across the selected cells, giving your spreadsheet a clean and organized look.

Tips for Using ‘Center Across Selection’ in Google Sheets

  • Make sure you only have text in the first cell of your selection; otherwise, the additional text won’t be visible after centering.
  • Use ‘Center Across Selection’ for headers or titles to make your spreadsheet easier to read.
  • Remember that you can still sort and filter your data as usual, even after using ‘Center Across Selection’.
  • Avoid merging cells whenever possible, as it can complicate data manipulation.
  • If you change your mind, you can easily undo ‘Center Across Selection’ by selecting the cells again and choosing ‘Unmerge’ from the Format menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use ‘Center Across Selection’ for rows as well as columns?

No, ‘Center Across Selection’ only works horizontally across columns, not vertically across rows.

Will ‘Center Across Selection’ affect how I sort and filter my data?

No, it won’t. The cells remain independent, so sorting and filtering will work just as before.

Can I apply ‘Center Across Selection’ to multiple rows at once?

You can apply ‘Center Across Selection’ to multiple rows, but only one row at a time. Repeat the steps for each row where you want centered text.

How do I revert my cells back to normal after using ‘Center Across Selection’?

To revert the changes, simply select the cells again, go to the Format menu, hover over ‘Merge cells,’ and select ‘Unmerge.’

Is ‘Center Across Selection’ available in other spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel?

Yes, a similar feature is available in Microsoft Excel, often called ‘Merge Across’ or ‘Center Across Selection.’


  1. Select the desired cells.
  2. Open the ‘Format’ menu.
  3. Choose ‘Merge cells’ and then ‘Center across selection.’


In summary, ‘Center Across Selection’ is a fantastic feature that can elevate the look of your Google Sheets document. It’s perfect for those who want to maintain the integrity of their data while also keeping things looking sharp. This little-known trick can make a big difference in the presentation of your spreadsheet, making it more appealing and easier to navigate for viewers.

Remember, a well-formatted spreadsheet isn’t just about looks—it’s about clarity and efficiency. By centering your text across multiple columns without merging them, you’re ensuring that your data remains as versatile and functional as ever. Now that you know how to use ‘Center Across Selection’ in Google Sheets, go ahead and give your spreadsheet the polish it deserves. And don’t forget to explore other formatting tools within Google Sheets to further enhance your data’s appearance and usability. Happy spreadsheeting!