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Merge Ahead

Excerpted from Chris Baldwin's "Services Rendered" blog:

One issue that continually vexes users of the SQL Server Reporting Services Excel rendering extension is that of merged cells in the Excel output. Merged cells can be a problem because Excel's sort functionality is very particular about the way cells have to be merged in order to work properly. Excel requires that ranges of merged cells be identically sized in order to be sorted. So, why does the renderer merge cells? It's important to keep in mind that the Excel renderer is primarily a layout renderer. Its goal in life is to replicate your defined report layout as closely as possible as an Excel workbook. At that task, it does a really good job. A consequence of this design goal is that in striving to preserve the layout, cells need to be merged on the worksheet surface...

[Click here to find out how OfficeWriter's SSRS renderer solves the merged cell problem]