Merge Cell Contents – Documentation

Merge Cell Contents tool icon Merge Cell Contents tool merges selected cells and combines their contents into complete text. This is necessary for spreadsheets where sentences are split across several cells, to prepare them for translation in a CAT tool.

Detailed information about Merge Cell Contents tool

How Merge Cell Contents tool can help you in your work

This tool is extremely helpful if you need to translate improperly formatted Excel files that contain blocks of continuous text (i.e. paragraphs) scattered around adjacent cells (see Figure 1 below):

Figure 1: Instead of putting a paragraph of text in one cell, the author placed the text in several different rows and even columns!
Screenshot: Sentence in several cells

When you deal with such text, there are several options:

  • Manage to translate the text so it fits in the same cells and looks okay in the final document.
  • Reformat the text so that it is contained in one cell only. This is especially necessary if you are using CAT software like SDL TagEditor, Wordfast Professional, etc. This is a tedious process, especially if the document contains several paragraphs like this.

The proper method is to reformat the document before translating it. Although Microsoft Excel already includes a special command called 'Merge Cells', this command does not help. Why? The Merge Cells command creates one merged cells out of the selected cells, but the new cell contains the contents of the top left cell only. The contents of all other cells included in the merged range are deleted.

Screenshot: Excel Merge warning dialogue

Unlike Excel's command, Merge Cell Contents tool merges the selected range to form a single merged cell containing the text from all the cells you selected.

Where to find the tool

To run Merge Cell Contents tool, click its button on TransTools ribbon in Excel:

Merge Cell Contents button on the ribbon

Using Merge Cell Contents tool

Step 1: Select the cells to merge and run Merge Cell Contents tool.

Screenshot: Before running Merge Cell Contents

The tool's progress will be shown in Microsoft Excel status bar at the bottom of the window (50% complete).

Step 2: After running the tool, the new cell will contain the data from all the cells you selected.

Screenshot: After running Merge Cell Contents

Step 3: Make sure to reformat the new cell contents to remove unnecessary line breaks.

Undo support

This command is undoable. However, due to restrictions in Microsoft Excel, as soon as you use this tool, you will be able to undo only the latest action, and everything done before that will be forgotten. Please bear this in mind when using TransTools for Microsoft Excel, and keep a backup copy of the spreadsheet that you are processing with TransTools.