Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Merge and Center Not Available.

Merge and Center Not Available

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 26, 2016)


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 (11845) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Merge and Center Not Available.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 1 + 5?

2017-07-14 15:29:49


Also you could need to convert table to a range by selecting the table, and then on the design tab, in the tools group, click Convert to Range. That was the problem with my table. Hope that helps!

2017-02-28 11:22:48


You can also click on "Tables' on the tool bar and then on the far right click on "Convert to Range" That's what worked for me.

2016-12-04 06:35:41


I have MS Excel 2013 and the align options have always been available. Suddenly, they are grayed out on ALL my excel files, past and newly created. None are shared, none are tracked. I've tried every fix I can find and repeatedly these are the main 'fixes' recommended. But none of these apply.

Any other recommendations?

Sincerely - Ashley

2016-10-25 14:10:50


Convert to range worked for me since I had the Format as Table active.

2016-05-12 11:28:11


Convert to range. It is most likely that you have formatted your sheet as a table which activates the design lay out. Go into design layout, in 2010, go to the tools bar in top left corner, and convert to range....all done

2016-04-23 06:02:00

Willy Vanhaelen

You also cannot merge cells in a table.

2016-04-22 05:52:50


Spreadsheet not protected and not shared, but still can't merge cells (option permanently greyed out)

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