Welcome to the Smartsheet Forum Archives

The posts in this forum are no longer monitored for accuracy and their content may no longer be current. If there's a discussion here that interests you and you'd like to find (or create) a more current version, please Visit the Current Forums.

Enhancement feature - Merge Cells functionality

Gareth Doyle
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2016 Posts

Wanted to start a thread for an enhancement feature to try and push this up in the road map prioritisations.

For such a simple and standard feature in tools like Excel and Google Docs it has become such a barrier during the process of trying to migrate exsisting documents form the above tools to Smartsheets and now is blocking any new sheets being created by the  eams i work with.


I would ask that people comment or contact smartsheets to try and have this added 



  • Hi Gareth

    Curious to understand what you are merging (for) and how that is barrier for you as I have not found merge cells to be a useful feature of Excel - when managing data I often I have to undo it!



  • Gareth Doyle

    Hi James,


    We deal with client docs that are outlining a stratgey matrix for messaging and target audiences and need to be grouped in ways to display this like the example below.

    Normally we have Excel but then we have 1000's of these docs a month to manage vs in Smartsheets reducing that number with being able to centralise in smartsheets


    Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 12.23.13 PM.png

  • Travis
    Travis Employee

    Thanks for starting this thread, Gareth! I will add your vote for this enhancement request. 

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I mostly agree with James here.  

    The merge functionality makes (some) sense in Excel primarily because the columns have no real meaning other than "that vertical row". In Smartsheet, columns have defined names and more importantly defined types. What does it mean to merge a Text/Number field and a Date field? Which one "wins"?

    In your example, cells A2:A10 all have the same value, it just is displayed visually so that it become obvious quickly. Which is not a bad thing, just ... meh for me.

    If the merge was only vertically (unlike in Excel), then I would solve the visual problem by have two columns, one with each cell the "Target" and one "Target for display" which would only show cell A5 for the first block. Sure it takes a bit to set up ... but so does the merging of cells.

    There is a feature request to have text allowed to go over the column boundary when there is not values in the next column which would solve most of the horizontal merge functionality.

    I've been using Smartsheet for over two years now and I can recall one time I wanted to use a merge feature ... and I got over it quickly.

    Your mileage may vary. 



  • Stan Adell
    Stan Adell ✭✭
    edited 02/26/16

    I need to merge or have a cell extended to adjoining cells like Excel. Currently, a long title forces the sheet to grow ridicuously long vertically.


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    I agree with you, there.

    Have you tried word wrap? 

    I believe the extend the text over unused columns is the best solution for you, if it implemented. In my experience, merged cells was often more pain than pleasure.


    You could also fake it by typing the text into each column manually until it looks like you want it to. Kludgy and a hack, but there it is.

    Another way would be to put all of the text into one column, hidden normally, and then

    use the MID function in the cells.

    =MID([HiddenText]23,1,20) for column 1

    =MID([HiddenText]23,21,40) for column 2

    and so forth.






  • TeresaG

    In my example, I'm trying to merge header cells (over three columns) and horizontally center their title. How would you do this in Smartsheet?



    Excel Example.JPG

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Is there data in two or more of the columns B,C,D / E,F,G / H,I,J?

    Put another way, can Product B have two Plastic Requirements, three Colors, and two Vendors?


    At first glance, I  would one or more of the following:


    1. Use column colors instead of only color coding row 1 (the header)

    2. Use Dropdown lists (depending on the answer above)

    3. Change Column names to something descriptive of the differences

    For example E/F/G's new names

    Color - Whatchamacallit

    Color - Widget

    Color - Thingamajig


    Hope this helps






  • TeresaG
    edited 05/23/16

    Thank you, Craig. I appreciate the quick response.


    Sometimes there's data in two or more of the columns, which is why I wanted a header row that covered all three columns.


    I could definitely use column colors and dropdown lists though in some cases, I'd have to repeat the header name.



  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/23/16

    A header section has been oft- requested but isn't on the roadmap yet.




    The Card View on the roadmap might help, it has been a while since I had to play with Jira but the swim lane concept might be bent to your needs. We'll see.


    Personally, I really don't want a way to merge cells. It is always a pain for me to sort, filter, and just to maintain it. I'm very much a functional guy but understand the visual needs of others. (That's shouldn't be taken as condenscending, that is certainly not my intention)


    I would, however, really get some use of the sheet header, which I think it what you are searching for.



  • TeresaG

    Thanks, Craig. I'll look at Card View and clearly forgot to check the Product Roadmap to see what's been requested or planned.


    Oh, and I took your comment in the way it was intended. I can appreciate that each user works with tools differently and might have needs that others have no use for so it's all good.

  • Ken Russell

    I think a header feature would be useful. I agree that merged cells are a pain, but I have a need to centre text over several colums, and can see that its not possible currently.

    The root casue of my problem is that I'm tryung to reproduce faithfulle and excel sheet, rather than re engineer it to work in the better tool of smartsheet.

  • I just started using smartsheet and need to be able to merge cells as well.


  • Rekaughn
    edited 07/14/16

    I would like to request merged cells as well. It would be tedious to try and explain all the ways we use merged fields, but to give one example that I'm stuck on now is when doing time. We are sharing a sheet between Houston, TX and Gonzales, LA that includes time for individual employees. The rows are listed by employee name and the columns include the day and then if the time is OT or ST. A mereged header for each day over the ST/OT columns would be more preferable than any other option coming to mind at the moment. Any ideas...?

  • Derek Hampson

    We could use a header feature as well.  Lots of Excel spreadsheets created with titles that define groups of columns below them.  

This discussion has been closed.