ExcelTips (Ribbon Interface)

# Concatenating Values from a Variable Number of Cells

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Concatenating Values from a Variable Number of Cells.

Pam has two columns of data. In column A there are simple identifiers, such as A, B, C, etc. In column B there are a series of integer values. She can sort the data by the identifier and, secondarily, by the integer values. Now she wants, in column C, to have a formula that will concatenate all the integer values for a particular identifier. Thus, if A1:A4 all contain the identifier A, then in cell C1 she would like to have all the values in B1:B4 concatenated and divided by commas, such as "11, 17, 19, 25". Since the number of rows for each identifier can be different, Pam isn't sure how to go about the concatenation.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a macro, which can be created as a user-defined function. Here's an example:

```Function CatSame(c As Range) As String
Application.Volatile
sTemp = ""
iCurCol = c.Column
If iCurCol = 3 Then
If c.Row = 1 Then
sLast = ""
Else
sLast = c.Offset(-1, -2)
End If
If c.Offset(0, -2) <> sLast Then
J = 0
Do
sTemp = sTemp & ", " & c.Offset(J, -1)
J = J + 1
Loop While c.Offset(J, -2) = c.Offset(J - 1, -2)
sTemp = Right(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 2)
End If
End If
CatSame = sTemp
End Function
```

This function basically takes a value that is passed to it (a cell reference) and verifies that the cell reference is for column C. If it is, then it starts to concatenate values from column B based on the values in column A. It only returns the string of concatenated values if the value is column A is different than the value in the row above it. Assuming your identifiers are in column A and your values to be concatenated are in column B, you could place the following in column C:

```=CatSame(C1)
```

Copy this down as far as necessary in column C and you end up with exactly what Pam wanted.

A more versatile function would be one that would function somewhat like VLOOKUP, but bring back a concatenated list of values that match whatever you are looking up. Consider the following function:

```Function VLookupAll(vValue, rngAll As Range, _
iCol As Integer, Optional sSep As String = ", ")
Dim rCell As Range
Dim rng As Range
On Error GoTo ErrHandler

Application.Volatile
Set rng = Intersect(rngAll, rngAll.Columns(1))
For Each rCell In rng
If rCell.Value = vValue Then _
VLookupAll = VLookupAll & sSep & _
rCell.Offset(0, iCol).Value
Next rCell

If VLookupAll = "" Then
VLookupAll = CVErr(xlErrNA)
Else
VLookupAll = Right(VLookupAll, Len(VLookupAll) - Len(sSep))
End If
ErrHandler:
If Err.Number <> 0 Then VLookupAll = CVErr(xlErrValue)
End Function
```

This function takes up to four arguments. The first is the value you want to match in your lookup. In Pam's instance, this would be the identifier you want, such as A, B, or C. The second argument is the range of cells in which to look for the matches (column A in this case). The third argument is an offset (from the range in the second argument) that represents the values you want concatenated. You can use the function in this manner:

```=VLookupAll("B",A1:A99,1)
```

If you want to specify a different delimiter between values, you can do it using the optional fourth argument. For instance, the following returns a string where a dash separates each value:

```=VLookupAll("B",A1:A99,1,"-")
```

The solutions so far have focused on using macros. The reason for this is relatively simple: There isn't a formula-based solution that can do what Pam needs. Using nested IF statements to evaluate what is in column A won't work well because you are limited in how deeply IF statements can be nested.

You could use a formula and an intermediate result if you don't mind having the concatenated values be at the last instance of an identifier in column A. Start by putting this formula in cell C1:

```=B1
```

This formula should go into cell C2:

```=IF(A2=A1,C1 & ", " & B2, B2)
```

Copy this formula down as many rows as necessary. What you end up with is an increasingly long series of concatenated values in column C, with the longest in each run being on the same row as the last sequential identifier in column A. You can then put the following in all the applicable cells of column D:

```=IF(LEN(C2)>LEN(C1),"",C1)
```

This formula only displays the longest strings from column C, which is what Pam needed to begin with.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9199) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Concatenating Values from a Variable Number of Cells.

Related Tips:

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

### Leave your own comment:

 *Name: Email: Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE Hide my email address *Text: *What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)

### Comments for this tip:

Michael (Micky) Avidan    24 Mar 2016, 06:27
Sorry for a "small" TIPO.
In cell C2, the formula
=IF(COUNTIF(A\$2:A2,A2)=1,Concat_Integers(A\$2:A\$16,A2),"")
--------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)
ISRAEL
Michael (Micky) Avidan    24 Mar 2016, 06:22
@@@ To whom it may concern,
I would use a simpler approach as demonstrated in the linked picture:
http://postimg.org/image/7iwjzq21b
--------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)
ISRAEL
Rebekah    23 Mar 2016, 10:55
I've spent the last 2 days searching for a solution. It is a bit of a workaround & a few extra steps for what I wanted to do, but it works perfectly so no complaints.
Jordan    16 Mar 2015, 12:07
Ok so I used your Catsame function and it works great. Now I want to do the same thing but instead of concat I want to simply sum all of the variable values together. Basically I want to use the Subtotal function, but I don't want to group each set of numbers using the built-in Subtotal button. I want the output to be in a new column just like the concat formula, but I only want to display the total one time per grouping of similar values. Any idea how to do this?
JOrdan    16 Mar 2015, 09:36
You sir are brilliant. Exactly what I needed and couldn't find anything outside of buggy Iserror/Small/Index functions. Thank you so much!

# Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

# Our Sites

Tips.Net

Beauty and Style

Cars

Cleaning

Cooking

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)

Gardening

Health

Home Improvement

Money and Finances

Organizing

Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Excel Products

Word Products

# Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.