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I would like to group a couple of columns or rows together and add a note to them. When I try that with normal letter-resizing, it gets ugly, misaligned to the rows, too bold and the centered text next to it aligns oddly.

Ideally, I would have the curly brace character ({) automatically resize with the cell, or with the grouped (how?) rows or columns.

The curly brace misalignes with text and grouped rows

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You could try any of the following:

Option #1: Image

When you resize the image/picture, though, it gets blurry/distorted.

  1. Use MS Paint to create an image of a right curly brace.
  2. Go to Insert > Picture. Select the image file you just created and then click Insert.
  3. Align the image with the cells in your data table.
  4. Right-click the image and go to Size and Properties.
  5. Select Move and Size with cells under the Properties tab.

Option #2: Using Excel's Right Brace Shape

This one, though, is a bit ugly.

  1. Go to Insert > Shapes
  2. Select the right brace symbol.

    enter image description here

  3. Align the shape with the cells in your data table.

  4. Right-click the image and go to Size and Properties.
  5. Select Move and Size with cells under the Properties tab.

Option #3: Creating a Custom Shape

I created my own shape.

  1. Type } into a cell, change the font to Times New Roman and set the size to 400.
  2. Click on Insert > Shapes > Freeform.
  3. Using the giant curly brace as a guide, create points along its edges. Click each point and then, using the white handles, adjust the curves.

    enter image description here

  4. Copy your custom shape, change its colors and align it with the data table:

    enter image description here

  5. Right-click the shape and go to Size and Properties.

  6. Select Move and Size with cells under the Properties tab.

    Now when I try to adjust the height of Row 8, the shape automatically adjusts:

    enter image description here

Here's a blank workbook that contains the custom shape: http://db.tt/XualR7K

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Wow, very extensive and illustrative answer, thanks! I hoped for something more trivial, but your solution fits perfectly well. Great work! +1 (or more if I could). –  Abel Sep 27 '11 at 14:16
    
Thanks! I tried to find a way to make text sizes change dynamically in merged cells but I failed. I think VBA can help with that. –  Ellesa Sep 27 '11 at 14:23
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