Workaround for sorting and filtering of merged cells

Excel 2013 2010
In some situations, you can't work with a workbook that consists of merged cells. To use Filter, Sort, or other functions, you need to unmerge cells and put to all of them the data from merged cells. This tip shows how to do it efficiently.
Paste values to unmerged cells in Excel 365

First step: Unmerging all merged cells

   1.   Select all cells in the worksheet.

A quick way to do so is to click the triangle at the intersection of the row headers and column headers:

Select all cells in Excel 365

   2.   On the Home tab, in the Alignment group, click Merge & Center:

Merge and Center in Excel 365

When you click this button, all selected cells in the worksheet will be unmerged.

Note: If the Merge & Center button isn't highlighted, there are no merged cells in the selection.

Second step: Filling the Gaps in a Sheet

   3.   Select the range that has the gaps.

   4.   On the Home tab, in the Editing group, choose the Find & Select drop-down list and then click Go To Special...:

Go To Special in Excel 365

   5.   In the Go To Special dialog box, select the Blanks option and click OK:

Blanks in Excel 365

This action selects the blank cells in the original selection.

   6.   On the Formula bar, type an equal sign (=) followed by the address of the first cell with an entry in the column. For this example, = B5:

Formula bar in Excel 365

   7.   Press Ctrl+Enter:

Paste values to unmerged cells in Excel 365

Third step: Remove the formulas

   8.   Reselect the original range and press Ctrl+C to copy the selection. In this example, cells B5:B12.

   9.   On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, choose the Paste drop-down list and then click Values (V) to convert the formulas to values:

Paste Values in Excel 365

After you complete these steps, the gaps are filled in with the correct information. Now it's a regular list, and you can do whatever you like with it - including sorting, filtering, etc.

See also this tip in French: Comment trier et filtrer des cellules fusionnées.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.