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

Implementing a Dynamic Document Control Table

Accurately and repeatedly referencing information within a document is a common task that needs to be done. One way to ...

Discover More

Extracting Street Numbers from an Address

Want to know how to move pieces of information contained in one cell into individual cells? This option exists if using ...

Discover More

Jumping Around Folders

When you open a workbook in Excel, the Open dialog box always starts within the folder in which you were last working. ...

Discover More

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!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Checking for Proper Entry of Array Formulas

Excel allows you to enter two different types of formulas in a cell: A regular formula or an array formula. If you need ...

Discover More

Stopping a Formula from Updating References

Insert or delete a column, and Excel automatically updates references within formulas that are affected by the change. If ...

Discover More

Counting Odds and Evens

If you have a series of values in a range of cells, you may wonder how many of those values are even and how many are ...

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 seven less than 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.