How to Make Smaller Columns Under the Main Column in Excel

by Gissimee Doe
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

You’ll want your financial data in your spreadsheets to look clean, sharp and correctly formatted to ensure that your presentations and printed documents look as professional as possible. You can use Microsoft Office Excel’s formatting features to create the appearance of smaller columns under a main column heading by first populating the smaller columns and then merging the header cells together to create the main column. This will prove especially useful when you need to create tables with subsections.

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Office Excel by tapping its tile on the Windows Start screen or by right-clicking on an empty area of the Start screen with a mouse and selecting “All Apps.” Click on the Excel tile, scrolling if necessary to find it. Alternatively, double-click on the Microsoft Office Excel icon in the taskbar on your Windows desktop.

Step 2

Click on the "Office" button in Excel and choose the “New” option to create a new blank spreadsheet; or click “Open” to load an existing Excel workbook if you have pre-existing data.

Step 3

Type the data for your small columns into adjacent columns on the worksheet and leave the first row blank -- you will use this to create your main column header.

Step 4

Click on the leftmost blank cell of the first row above the data you typed in Step 3 and type your main column header text. For example, if your small columns contain the names of your employees, you could type “Employee Names” in this cell. This should be the cell in line with your first small column.

Step 5

Click on the cell in which you typed the column header text (the first cell above your small columns) and drag your mouse across the row to the last cell above your small columns to select all the cells in the row above your small columns.

Step 6

Click on the “Home” tab and then click on the drop-down arrow beside the “Merge & Center” icon to display a list of merge options.

Click on “Merge & Center” or “Merge Across” to create a single cell spanning your small columns. Your column header text will be displayed in this cell, giving the effect of one main column above the smaller columns.

More Articles