Concatenate Excel

Conquering Concatenation: Mastering Text Combining in Excel

Summary: This blog empowers you to conquer text combining in Excel. Explore CONCATENATE, a function that merges text strings and cell references. Learn alternative functions like CONCAT & TEXTJOIN. Discover practical applications for reports, mailing lists & data cleaning. Take your Excel skills to the next level!


Ever felt the need to merge information from different cells in your Excel spreadsheet? Look no further than the CONCATENATION function, your one-stop shop for text manipulation. This blog delves into the world of CONCATENATION, exploring its functionalities, exploring alternatives, and showcasing practical applications to elevate your Excel expertise.

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Introduction to CONCATENATE in Excel

The CONCATENATION function, a cornerstone of text manipulation in Excel, allows you to seamlessly combine multiple text strings, cell references, or numbers into a single, unified string. This proves invaluable when constructing labels, generating reports, or merging data from various sources.

Basic Usage and Examples

Using CONCATENATE is a breeze. Here’s the syntax:

  • text1: The first text string or cell reference you want to combine.
  • [text2], …: Additional text strings or cell references (up to 255) to be concatenated.

Example 1: Merging First and Last Names

Suppose you have first names in column A and last names in column B. To create a full name column in C, enter the following formula in cell C2 (and copy down):


This formula combines the value in A2 (first name) with a space (” “) and the value in B2 (last name), resulting in a full name in cell C2.

Example 2: Adding Static Text

You can also concatenate text strings with cell references. Let’s say you want to create a product code that combines “Prod-” with the product ID in cell D2. The formula would be:

Concatenating Text with Line Breaks

Want to include line breaks within your concatenated text? Utilize the CHAR(10) function, which inserts a line break. Here’s how:

This formula combines the value in A1 with a line break (CHAR(10)) followed by “Description:” and then the value in B1.

Handling Numbers and Dates

CONCATENATE treats numbers and dates as text. However, if you want to maintain their original formatting, enclose them within double quotes:

This formula displays “Total: $” followed by the value in cell E2 formatted as currency (#). Similarly, for dates:

This displays “Invoice Date: ” followed by the value in cell F2 formatted as “dd-mmm-yyyy” (e.g., 20-Jun-2024).

Concatenating Cells with Conditions

CONCATENATE empowers you to combine cells based on specific conditions. For instance, you can create a message depending on a value:

This checks the value in G2. If it’s “Shipped,” it displays “Order Status: Complete”; otherwise, it displays “Pending.”

Alternative Functions: CONCAT and TEXTJOIN

While CONCATENATE remains functional, Excel offers more streamlined options:

CONCAT: Introduced in Excel 2016, CONCAT offers the same functionality as CONCATENATE but with a simpler syntax:

TEXTJOIN: This function excels at concatenating text from multiple cells with a specific delimiter (separator). It’s ideal for complex scenarios:

Advanced Techniques with CONCATENATE

CONCATENATE is a useful function, but it can be a bit limited. Here are some advanced techniques for combining text in Excel that go beyond the basic CONCATENATE function:

Ampersand (&) Operator

The ampersand (&) is a more concise way to concatenate strings. It works just like CONCATENATE but is easier to type in long formulas. Here’s an example:

Complete code is mentioned below:

=A1 & ” ” & B1  // Combines data from cell A1 and B1 with a space in between

TEXTJOIN Function (Excel 2016+)

For more flexibility, consider TEXTJOIN. This function lets you specify a delimiter (the character separating items) between concatenated elements. It’s especially useful when combining ranges of cells.

Complete code is mentioned below:

=TEXTJOIN(“,”, TRUE, A1:A5)  // Joins cells A1 to A5 with a comma (,) as separator

Concatenating Text with Functions

CONCATENATE (or the ampersand) can be combined with other functions for powerful results. Imagine you have a cell (C1) containing a date and want to create a filename with “Invoice_” followed by the date. You can use the TEXT function to format the date and then concatenate it:

Complete code is mentioned below:

= “Invoice_” & TEXT(C1, “YYYYMMDD”)  // Creates “Invoice_20240620” (assuming today’s date)

Conditional Concatenation

Sometimes you only want to add text based on a certain condition. You can use the IF function to achieve this. Let’s say you have a product name (D1) and a discount code (E1) applied only to specific items. You can combine them with ” (Discounted)” only if there’s a discount code:

Complete code is mentioned below:

=D1 & IF(E1<>””, ” (Discounted)”, “”) // Adds “(Discounted)” only if E1 has a value

Concatenating with Line Breaks

While CONCATENATE doesn’t handle line breaks directly, you can use the CHAR(10) function to insert a line break within the concatenated string. This is useful for creating multi-line text in a single cell.

Complete code is mentioned below:

=A1 & CHAR(10) & “Additional Information:” & B1  // Creates a two-line string

These are just a few examples of how you can use advanced techniques to go beyond the basic CONCATENATE function in Excel. By combining these methods with other functions, you can create dynamic and informative text strings within your spreadsheets.

Practical Applications of Concatenate Excel

CONCATENATE, along with its companions CONCAT and TEXTJOIN, proves its worth in various real-world Excel scenarios. Here’s a deeper dive into some practical applications:

Generating Mailing Lists

Imagine a spreadsheet containing customer information in separate columns for first name (A), last name (B), address (C), city (D), state (E), and ZIP code (F). To create a mailing list, you can use CONCATENATE to combine these elements into a single cell for each customer:

This formula combines all the information separated by commas and a line break (CHAR(10)) for proper formatting in a mailing list.

Generating Reports

CONCATENATE is a workhorse for report creation. You can use it to:

Create Dynamic Titles and Headers: Combine static text with cell references to display dynamic information:

Complete code is mentioned below: 

=CONCATENATE(“Sales Report for Region: “,B1)  // B1 contains the region name

Combine Data from Different Columns: Construct informative summaries by merging relevant data points:

Complete code is mentioned below: 

=CONCATENATE(“Total Units Sold: “,SUM(G2:G10),” Revenue: $”,SUM(H2:H10))  // G:H contain sales data

Creating File Names:

Standardize file naming conventions to improve organization. CONCATENATE helps you create file names that include relevant information:

Complete code is mentioned below: 

=CONCATENATE(A2,”_”,TEXT(TODAY(),”yyyymmdd”),”_v”,B2)  // A2: product name, B2: version number

This formula combines the product name, current date formatted as YYYYMMDD, and version number, resulting in a clear and informative file name.

Data Cleaning and Manipulation

CONCATENATE can be a valuable tool for data cleaning tasks:

Combining Fragmented Data: If data is split across multiple cells (e.g., first name with middle initial in separate cells), use CONCATENATE to merge them:

Removing Unwanted Characters: Combine CONCATENATE with functions like LEFT, RIGHT, or SUBSTITUTE to remove unwanted characters from text strings.

Conditional Text Merging

CONCATENATE allows for dynamic text creation based on conditions:

Adding Status Messages: Combine static text with an IF statement to display status messages based on a value in another cell:

=CONCATENATE(“Order #”,A2,” – “,IF(B2=”shipped”,”Shipped”,”Pending”))  // A2: order number, B2: order status

These are just a few examples of how CONCATENATION and its alternatives can be leveraged in practical scenarios. With a little creativity, you can unlock its potential to streamline your workflow and enhance data manipulation in your Excel spreadsheets.


CONCATENATE, along with its alternatives, empowers you to effortlessly combine text and data within your Excel spreadsheets. By mastering these techniques, you can streamline your workflow, enhance data organization, and create professional and informative reports. 

So, the next time you need to merge information, remember the power of CONCATENATION and its companions for a more efficient and productive Excel experience.

Bonus Tip: Explore online resources and tutorials for further exploration of advanced CONCATENATION techniques and how to integrate them with other Excel functions to unlock its full potential. With practice and creativity, you’ll be a text-combining pro in no time! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Difference Between CONCATENATE and CONCAT?

Both functions combine text, but CONCAT (introduced later) offers a simpler syntax. For example: =CONCATENATE(A1, ” “, B1) becomes =CONCAT(A1, ” “, B1).

Can I Use CONCATENATE to Combine Numbers and Dates?

Yes, but they’ll be treated as text. To maintain formatting, enclose them in quotes: =CONCATENATE(“Total: $”, TEXT(A1,”#”)) for currency formatting.

Is There a Way to Join Text From Multiple Cells With a Specific Separator?

Yes! Use TEXTJOIN. It excels at combining text with a delimiter (separator) like commas: =TEXTJOIN(“, “, TRUE, A1:A5) joins cells A1 to A5 with commas and spaces.


  • Karan Sharma

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    With more than six years of experience in the field, Karan Sharma is an accomplished data scientist. He keeps a vigilant eye on the major trends in Big Data, Data Science, Programming, and AI, staying well-informed and updated in these dynamic industries.

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