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How to merge GridView Cells to display same value in ASP.NET

Author: Nikki Smith
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In this article, I will show you how you can merge GridView cells to display same value in ASP.NET.


Many times there are same values for a column in multiple rows. You may want to display repeated items one time and merge cells. In this article, I will merge GridView column cells and display same items in one cell. I will use “titles” table of PUBS sample database to get data and display it on a GridView and then I will write a function to merge cells that shows same items.  


  1. Create a new Empty Web Site in Visual Studio 2010 either in Visual Basic or Visual C#.
  2. Add a Web Form in the Web Site. No Need to change name of the Page
  3. Write below code in Web Form

    <asp:GridView ID="GridView1" runat="server" AutoGenerateColumns="false">
            <asp:BoundField DataField="title_id" HeaderText="Title Id" />
            <asp:BoundField DataField="title" HeaderText="Title" />
            <asp:BoundField DataField="type" HeaderText="Type" />
            <asp:BoundField DataField="pub_id" HeaderText="Pub Id" />

  4. Namespaces used in the code

    Visual Basic
    Imports System.Data
    Imports System.Data.SqlClient
    Visual C#
    using System.Data;
    using System.Data.SqlClient;
  5. Write this function in code file

    In below function, I have created two GridViewRow objects for current and previous rows. Then I have checked the text of both cells and if they are equal then I have used another if statement to check Row Span of previous row cell is less than 2. If it is less than two then I am setting the Row Span of current row cell equals to 2 and if it is not less than 2 then I have set Row Span of current row cell to Row Span of previous row cell plus 1. In both cases, I have set visible to false for previous row cell.
    Visual Basic
    Private Sub MergeCells()
        Dim i As Integer = GridView1.Rows.Count - 2
        While i >= 0
            Dim curRow As GridViewRow = GridView1.Rows(i)
            Dim preRow As GridViewRow = GridView1.Rows(i + 1)
            Dim j As Integer = 0
            While j < curRow.Cells.Count
                If curRow.Cells(j).Text = preRow.Cells(j).Text Then
                    If preRow.Cells(j).RowSpan < 2 Then
                        curRow.Cells(j).RowSpan = 2
                        preRow.Cells(j).Visible = False
                        curRow.Cells(j).RowSpan = preRow.Cells(j).RowSpan + 1
                        preRow.Cells(j).Visible = False
                    End If
                End If
                j += 1
            End While
            i -= 1
        End While
    End Sub
    Visual C#
    private void MergeCells()
        int i = GridView1.Rows.Count - 2;
        while (i >= 0)
            GridViewRow curRow = GridView1.Rows[i];
            GridViewRow preRow = GridView1.Rows[i + 1];
            int j = 0;
            while (j < curRow.Cells.Count)
                if (curRow.Cells[j].Text == preRow.Cells[j].Text)
                    if (preRow.Cells[j].RowSpan < 2)
                        curRow.Cells[j].RowSpan = 2;
                        preRow.Cells[j].Visible = false;
                        curRow.Cells[j].RowSpan = preRow.Cells[j].RowSpan + 1;
                        preRow.Cells[j].Visible = false;
  6. Now write below code in Page Load method

    In below code, I have established connection to PUBS database in SQL Server and retrieved data from “titles” table in a DataSet object. This DataSet object is provided GridView as data source. At the end, I have called the MergeCells() function.

    Visual Basic
    Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
        Dim text As String = "SELECT title_id, title, type, pub_id FROM titles"
        Dim connString As String = "Data Source=YourServer;Initial Catalog=PUBS;Integrated Security=True"
        Dim conn As New SqlConnection(connString)
        Dim cmd As New SqlCommand(text, conn)
        Dim da As New SqlDataAdapter(cmd)
        Dim ds As New DataSet()
        GridView1.DataSource = ds
    End Sub
    Visual C#
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        string text = "SELECT title_id, title, type, pub_id FROM titles";
        string connString = "Data Source=YourServer;Initial Catalog=PUBS;Integrated Security=True";
        SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString);
        SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand(text, conn);
        SqlDataAdapter da = new SqlDataAdapter(cmd);
        DataSet ds = new DataSet();
        GridView1.DataSource = ds;
  7. Now you can see website in your browser
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