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Merge and Center Not Available

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Merge and Center Not Available.

Paul has a worksheet in which he wants to apply Merge and Center to a selection. However, the tool is continually grayed out on his worksheet and Paul can't figure out why. He wonders if there is some combination of formats or settings that disables the tool.

Actually, there are two conditions that can cause the Merge and Center tool to be unavailable. You should check, first, to see if your worksheet is protected. Second, you should check to see if the workbook is shared. Both protection and sharing have been discussed in other issues of ExcelTips, and both of them happen to disable Merge and Center. (Actually, they disable a lot of other commands in addition to Merge and Center.)

If you turn off sharing (if it is on) and disable protection (if the worksheet is protected), then the tool should once again be available.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (5398) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Merge and Center Not Available.

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Comments for this tip:

tim szada    02 Jan 2017, 09:07
When I use the merge and center tool, many cells turn black. What can I do to fix this? Thanks
martin alleyne    08 Nov 2016, 14:55
Is it possible to enable the merge and center icon with it being shared. It needs to be edited by more than one individual.
Thalgott    22 Aug 2016, 03:53
Hi there. Unfortunately it didn't work, the sheet was neither protected nor shared. Any other solution? Thanks
Amy    27 May 2016, 10:05
Byron Injeeli's comment WORKED -- thanks!
Yannis    16 Dec 2015, 14:07
This solved my problem!!!
Excel 2011 for MAC
I guess this is a bug
Any idea how to keep the Merge button on on shared files??
roy    23 Sep 2015, 07:38
Thanks, that solved it for me.
Bhavya N    09 Sep 2015, 04:19
thank you very much
shankar patil    23 Aug 2015, 11:01
go to Design, then click convert to range. it worked for me and Thank you byron
arezoo    14 Jul 2015, 23:36
Thank you Byron Injeeli, Your solution worked.
trina    05 Mar 2015, 18:14
cell/sheet protection will also grey it out.
unprotect sheet to make changes, then protection can be put back on.
Lana    21 Jan 2015, 17:06
Ny excel sheet is not protected nor is it shared. Merge and center is still grayed out on tool bar. any suggestions.
Amey Gawade    21 Oct 2014, 04:03
My sheet is not protected nor is it shared. I am still unable to access merge & center. --

Any advice?
Byron Injeeli    18 Aug 2014, 11:52
I think I found a solution: go to Design, then click convert to range. That might work.
-- Byron Injeeli
Byron Injeeli    18 Aug 2014, 11:45
I got this strange error too. Can't figure out how to solve it.
-- Byron Shelley Injeeli
Elisabeth    21 Oct 2013, 22:45
thanks. it's work.
Laura Melton    29 Aug 2013, 19:38
My sheet is not protected nor is it shared. I am still unable to access merge & center. --

Any advice?
Doug Watson    06 May 2013, 19:56
Sheet not shared or protected. formatting the same in all cells. justification upper left all cells desired to merge. Merge and center still greyed out.

Any ideas?

ganesh    24 Oct 2012, 22:35
thank you

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