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Enhancement feature - Merge Cells functionality



  • Taleb Alkhaja

    I'm with Teresa -  I would also like to create a Parent header that might include multiple columns.  Therefore my request is 2 fold:


    1) The ability to add multiple rows to the header

    2) the ability to merge cells.

    3) the ability to format the header, such as color code



  • Glenn Power

    I vote for merging cell functionalty being added, thanks. 

  • Edd Tomlinson
    edited 02/27/17

    I would really like this feature to be implemented.

    Yes it is more a visual thing but visuals are important; especially when you are sharing the content with clients.


    Merge cell functionlity is essential for headers and for blocking out sections of a sheet that only require one value spread across multiple cells.


    Referencing any of the cells included in the merged section would refer to this singular value.

  • calalouf

    I would like to request merge cells as well. I'd like to have a buyer persona template with a photo in the first column that spans all rows, and key descriptive fields and values in the rows of columns 2 & 3.

  • Shaine Greenwood

    Hi All—


    I've got your votes down for merge cell functionality on our enhancement request list for further consideration by our Product team.


    Thanks for your input!

  • Kasey Kellum

    I need the merge cells for creating 'template' like forms that are easier to read and format for clients!  Not many people apprecaite a data filled document


  • Shaine Greenwood

    Hi Kasey,


    I've got your vote down for this on our enhancement request list for further consideration.


    With that being said, you might consider using Smartsheet web forms for your clients to add data to your sheets: https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/522221-using-web-forms

  • Leslie mason

    I completely agree with the need for a header or ability to merge cells without increasing the column width which distorts the look of the entire sheet. For those of us working in health care or in other agencies with sensitive information, we need to be able to put a banner on top to remind users not to post/attach/include sensitive information in the sheets.

  • Chris McKay
    Chris McKay ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 10/26/17

    I respectfully disagree with comments suggesting that the ability to merge cells is somehow a universally bad idea based on their own experience or that Smartsheet somehow has it right the way sheets are currently configured. While cell merging is a fundamentally bad idea for certain applications, it is a useful idea for other applications. The inclusion of merged cells should be up to the individual and not determined by the function being omitted from SmartSheet altogether.

    While I am immeasurably grateful for his valuable contributions to this community, I am whole-heartedly opposed to Craig's assertation that Excel columns have no real meaning as compared to Smartsheet's defined column name/type structure and the hypothesis that merging data types would somehow cause issues inside Smartsheet. This is simply not true. Excel has the ability to create named ranges based on an entire column and the ability to set formats for an entire column.

    Excel facilitates the merging of cells with different formats by referencing the merged range via the address of the top left cell. All the other cells in the merged range inherit the format of the top left cell. Problem solved. 

    Smartsheet's technical limitations (i.e. the inability to set cell-specific data types) should not be used as a crutch for this feature request dragging on. It's a fundamental feature, it has been in play for years now and has a myriad of requests on this board. Therefore it is a valid request and should be included.

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


    I'm not the one(s) you need to convince.

    I do believe you are unlikely to get them any time soon. Smartsheet's presentations at ENGAGE this year made it clear that they are focused on the users that have less desire to tinker with what is provided in the GUI than those that want ... more.

    I still believe there are underlying issues with bringing the cell-merge functionality to fruition. Partly this comes from reading the API documentation and while that is not a complete view into the back-end, it does provide clues as to how things may be designed.

    The problem may also have to do with being a browser based application as opposed to a desktop based one. That may change with Excel's on-line offering, but I'm not sure yet.

    As for my "Excel's columns have no meaning", I mean that intrinsically. Once someone starts defining properties of cells within Excel that starts to change but never really goes away, in my opinion. This is also why I believe we are likely to never get a "transpose" feature within Smartsheet. 

    Thanks for the thought provoking comment. I also appreciate your edited version. 

    At ENGAGE this year, there was a fantastic focus on culling input from the people in attendance. Every few hours, maybe only twice a day, the various stations would have a new topic for discussion and input. I don't recall seeing "cell merge" mentioned as one of the top requests and it certainly wasn't mentioned in the roadmap presentations.


  • Chris McKay
    Chris McKay ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Craig,

    I actually hit the go button before I meant to on the first draft, so the edit was less of an edit and more of a whoops moment :-)

    Thank you for the clarification on your original post and your insights about what went on at ENGAGE. I completely understand that SS has a roadmap planned out and competing priorities need to be weighed up to determine the best way forward for the largest group of SS users (i.e. the non-tinkerers).

    The technical limitations behind the scenes may well be the root cause (i.e. SS May have potentially painted themselves into a corner somehow) and I'll take a squizz at the API documentation. I'm only a recent SS user, so I'm yet to dive into the documentation too heavily. As a baseline, the online version of Excel has had a merge function since launch in 2010 (see attached). Google Sheets has included the function since launch way back in 2006.

    That being said, some of the most fundamental features I would expect of a PPM & collaboration solution like SS are still missing. Considering the length of time SS has been around (11 years now) and the fact that these are items that have been asked for many times and could have made it into past releases, it baffles me as to why. Especially when you consider features like personal profiles being green-lighted (I can't find anybody requesting this).

    Anyway, I'm just musing :-) For the most part, Smartsheet does a great job for what we need.


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

    re: Hit send too soon. Been there, done that. I would ask for a confirmation button (not in this case), but I dislike those too. :)

    Your image shows just one of those technical/design issues to be addressed: Smartsheet filters on the whole column, not on an area. Thinking about it, I bet some users have been asking Microsoft since Excel 4 to be able to filter in two areas. Choices and resources. Excel also suffers severely from feature-bloat (and a decision to always be backwards compatible, even for the features no one uses). 

    As for the timeline, Smartsheet made a (radical) shift only a few years ago (before my time) and since then growth has been accelerating. They must be doing something right. I certainly don't always* agree with what they have released or chosen to languish after the initial release (Resource Management**) but overall the product has filled in some of my own wishlist***.

    Welcome to Smartsheet.



    *always is probably generous. At least 3 times there have been releases where I have had to take a few days off to cool down. 

    **RM was announced for a major overhaul during ENGAGE. Few details were provided, but I hope they don't make it worse. I barely use it now. Neither do my customers.

    ***But of course not as fast as I would wish.





  • isrodriguez

    Please add my vote for the Merge Enhancement request.

This discussion has been closed.