How to Center Across Selection in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Centering text across a selection in Google Sheets is a simple task that can greatly enhance the organization and appearance of your spreadsheet. To accomplish this, you’ll need to merge cells across a row and then apply the center alignment to the merged cell. This quick overview will give you the basics, but keep reading for a more detailed tutorial.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Center Across Selection in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, it’s important to understand that centering across a selection in Google Sheets involves merging cells to create a single larger cell and then centering the text within that new cell. This is especially useful for titles or headings that span multiple columns.

Step 1: Select the cells you want to merge

Click and drag your mouse across the cells you want to center your text across.

Merging cells is the first step in centering text across a selection. This combines the selected cells into one larger cell. It’s important to note that if there’s data in any of the cells you’re merging, only the upper-left cell’s content will be kept.

Step 2: Click on the "Merge cells" button

Once your cells are selected, click on the "Merge cells" button in the toolbar.

Clicking the "Merge cells" button merges your selected cells into a single cell. This button can be found in the toolbar at the top of your Google Sheets document, and it looks like two arrows pointing towards each other.

Step 3: Center the text

Now that you have a merged cell, click the "Center align" button to center your text.

Centering the text ensures that it will be positioned in the middle of your merged cell, both horizontally and vertically. The "Center align" button can also be found in the toolbar and is represented by a set of lines aligned at the center.

After completing these steps, your text will be perfectly centered across your selected cells, giving your spreadsheet a cleaner, more professional look.

Tips: How to Center Across Selection in Google Sheets

  • Always double-check which cells you are merging, as you can only undo this action immediately after performing it.
  • Remember that merging cells will only keep the content from the upper-left cell if there’s data in multiple cells.
  • Use the "Merge horizontally" option if you only want to merge cells across but not vertically.
  • Consider using "Format" > "Merge cells" > "Merge all" for a more precise selection.
  • Utilize keyboard shortcuts (Cmd + Shift + J on Mac or Ctrl + Shift + J on Windows) for quicker centering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the data in the cells when they are merged?

The data in the upper-left cell will be kept, while all other data in the merged cells will be deleted.

Can I split a merged cell back into individual cells?

Yes, you can unmerge the cells by clicking on the merged cell and then clicking the "Merge cells" button again.

Is it possible to center text across a selection without merging cells?

No, cells need to be merged to center text across them because Google Sheets centers text within a cell, not across separate cells.

Will merging cells affect the formulas in my spreadsheet?

If a formula references a cell that has been merged, it may need to be adjusted, as the reference to that cell could change.

Can I merge cells both horizontally and vertically at the same time?

Yes, by selecting the range of cells and clicking the "Merge all" option.


  1. Select the cells you want to merge.
  2. Click on the "Merge cells" button.
  3. Center the text.


Mastering the art of centering text across a selection in Google Sheets might seem trivial, but it’s these little details that can turn a jumbled mess of data into an understandable and visually appealing masterpiece. Whether you’re a student looking to impress with a polished project or a business professional aiming to present data cleanly, knowing how to center text is an essential skill in your Google Sheets toolkit.

Remember, presentation matters just as much as the data itself. Clean formatting can make your data more accessible and easier to interpret, leading to better insights and decisions. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different formatting options in Google Sheets to discover what works best for your specific needs.

So the next time you’re working in Google Sheets, take a moment to center your headings and titles across selections. Your future self—and anyone else who lays eyes on your spreadsheet—will thank you. Keep practicing, keep learning, and always aim for that perfect balance of function and form in your spreadsheets.