How to Fix Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel

alsoThis guide will explain how to fix the issue where you can’t copy merged cells in Excel as a single cell.

When pasting values from merged cells, the output will likely also be a merged cell. We will go through a few methods you can do to return the value as a single cell.

Let’s take a look at a quick example of a situation where you might want to copy the values of a merged cell into a non-merged cell.

Suppose you have a list of values that you want to copy into another column. The source cells for these values, however, are formatted as merged cells. This means multiple adjacent cells are formatted to act as a single cell.

If we try to copy these values normally, the formatting used to merge cells is also copied. In this guide, we’ll show you two methods you can use to avoid copying the formatting used for merged cells.

Now that we know when we need to copy merged cells as a single cell, let’s dive into how to do it on an actual sample spreadsheet.



Real Example of Fixing Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel

In the following section, we will provide a specific example of copying merged cells in Excel. We’ll also go in-depth on the formulas and tools used in these examples. 

First, let’s take a look at the default behavior when pasting merged cells. 

In the sample page below, we’ve copied the value in cell C3. When we paste the value into cell G3, the output is still a merged cell.

Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel


One simple way to copy and paste these merged cells is to double-click the merged cell and select the text itself. Afterwards, you may copy and paste the text normally.

double-click cell


One issue with this method is that it only copies the text itself. Any cell or text formatting is lost. This method also works with only a single merged cell at a time.

If you want to perform this action for multiple merged cells, we can use the Paste Special feature instead. The Paste Special feature allows the user to specify what type of cell or text formatting to keep and also works for an entire cell range.

We can use the Paste Special tool to split the three merged cells into their actual values. In the example below, we copied the value in cell C3 without including the merged formatting.

copy cell using Paste Special


When working with merged cells, we must remember that the value itself exists only in the upper-left cell. When we use Paste Special, we also copy the remaining cells. These extra cells should not be an issue since they’re left blank.

Do you want to take a closer look at our examples? You can make your own copy of the spreadsheet above using the link attached below. 

If you’re ready to copy merged cells on your spreadsheet, head over to the next section and read our step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself!



How to Fix Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel

This section will guide you through each step needed to fix the issue where you cannot copy merged cells in Excel. You’ll learn how we can use the Paste Special feature to copy merged cells.

Follow these steps to start copying merged cells in Excel:

  1. First, let’s take a look at the simplest method for copying data from merged cells. Double-click on a merged cell to place a cursor on the cell.
    double-click cell
  2. Click the shortcut Ctrl + A to select the entire text. The user may now copy the text into their clipboard using the shortcut Ctrl + C.
    Select entire text and copy
  3. Select the destination cell where you want to place the merged cells. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V to paste the text value from the merged cell.
    Paste cell using Ctrl + V so you can Copy Merged Cells in Excel
  4. Alternatively, the user may also use the Paste Special method. First, select the cell or cell range you want to copy. In this example, we’ll copy the contents of cell C3. Use the shortcut Ctrl + C to copy the value to your clipboard.
    If you Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel, use the Paste Special feature
  5. Right-click on the cell where you want to paste the copied value. Select the Paste Special option from the context menu.
    Select Paste Special option
  6. In the Paste Special dropdown menu, the user may select one of several different options. If the user only wants to retrieve the merged cell’s value, they must select the Values option. They can also select the Formulas option if the user wishes to retain the formula instead.
    Select values only
  7. Click on OK to paste the value into the target cell.
    copy cell contents using Paste Special function
  8. This method may also work using multiple cells or cell ranges.
    you can use the same technique to copy an entire range of merged cells

These are all the steps needed to copy the values of merged cells in Excel.



This step-by-step guide should be all you need to begin fixing the issue where you cannot copy merged cells in Excel. Our guide shows how to use the Paste Special feature to copy values without the merged cell formatting.

Overall, the Paste Special feature is just one of many useful features you can use in Excel. Our website covers hundreds of other Excel methods and functions that you can apply to your own spreadsheets. 

For example, another error you may encounter in Excel is the ‘Convert to Number’ error. You can also read our guide to learn how to convert text-formatted numerical data.

With so many other Excel functions available, you can surely find one that suits your use case. 

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