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: Combining Cell Contents.

Combining Cell Contents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 7, 2014)

At the heart of Excel is the ability to add formulas to worksheets. You use these formulas to manipulate information stored in different cells. One of the ways you can manipulate information is to combine the contents of your cells. For instance, let's assume you have a list of last names in column A, a list of first names in column B, and a list of titles (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.) in column C. If you wanted to derive a full name for these people, you could use the following formula:

=CONCATENATE(C4, " ", B4, " ", A4)

The result of such a formula is that Excel combines the values (the names and titles) from the specified cells and places spaces between them.

If I am remembering my spreadsheet history correctly, the CONCATENATE function was originally included in Excel for compatability with other spreadsheet programs—most notably Lotus 123. Personally, I prefer to use what I've always viewed as the native concatenation operator for Excel, which is the ampersand. Here's how you could write the same concatenation formula mentioned above:

=C4 & " " & B4 & " " & A4

The ampersand character (&) is used to indicate that Excel should "add" text together to create a new text value.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9635) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Combining Cell Contents.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Picking Which Outlook Address to Use in Word

If you Outlook addresses have more than one address each, you may want to select which one is used in Word.

Discover More

Scaling Graphics in a Macro

If you need to make sure that the graphics in a document are all scaled similarly, you'll love the macros presented in this ...

Discover More

Creating Worksheets with a Macro

Using a macro to add worksheets to your workbook is easy. This tip provides two different methods you can use.

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Finding the Nth Occurrence of a Character

The FIND and SEARCH functions are great for finding the initial occurrence of a character in a text string, but what if you ...

Discover More

Creating an Amortization Schedule

An amortization schedule is a report that shows how the outstanding balance on a loan changes with payments made over time. ...

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is an ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.