CONCATENATE: Excel Formulas Explained

When it comes to Excel, there is always something new to learn. Concatenation is an important formula that every Excel user should take advantage of, but I’ve found that it’s one of the least understood. Don’t worry; I’m here to help you understand what concatenation is, how it works and how to use it in your day to day tasks.

What is Concatenation in Excel?

At its core, concatenation is combining two or more strings of data into one string. For example, if you have a first name in one cell and a last name in another cell, you can concatenate those cells to create a full name in one cell.

The CONCATENATE function is a formula that allows you to do exactly that. It is a very simple formula that requires only basic Excel knowledge to understand and use. The formula takes two or more cells and combines them into one cell. Basically, it just glues the cells together, and you can add in text or symbols to separate the different cells.

How to Use the CONCATENATE Formula

The CONCATENATE function takes two or more cells and combines them into one cell. The syntax for the formula is as follows:

``=CONCATENATE(cell1, cell2, cell3, …)``

You can see that it’s a very simple formula. All you need to do is list the cells you want to combine inside the parentheses. Let’s look at an example.

Imagine you have a list of products with their corresponding prices. You want to create a new list showing the products and their prices side by side. To do this, you can use the CONCATENATE formula. Here’s how:

First, you’ll need to create a new column for the combined data. Then, in the first row of the new column, type the following formula:

``=CONCATENATE(cell1, “: “, cell2)``

In this example, cell1 is the cell containing the product name, and cell2 is the cell containing the price. The “: “ is just a separator that you can add to make the data more readable. When you hit enter, Excel will combine the two cells into one, with the separator in between the two. You can then drag the formula down to fill out the rest of the cells in the new column.

It’s important to note that the CONCATENATE formula works best with text and numbers. If you’re trying to concatenate non-text and non-number data, such as images, Excel may not give you the desired results.

Concatenating Cells with Spreadsheets Using the "&" Symbol

Excel’s CONCATENATE function is great for combining cells, but it can be a little cumbersome to use if you’re trying to concatenate multiple cells. Luckily, there’s an easier way to concatenate multiple cells: using the “&” symbol.

The & symbol works just like the CONCATENATE function, but it’s easier to use when you’re combining a lot of cells. Here’s how to use the & symbol:

Let’s say you have three cells containing the first, middle, and last name of a person. You want to concatenate these cells to create a full name. Instead of using the CONCATENATE function, you can simply type the following formula into a new cell:

``=cell1&” “&cell2&” “&cell3``

In this example, cell1 is the cell containing the first name, cell2 is the cell containing the middle name, and cell3 is the cell containing the last name. The “&” symbol acts as a separator in place of the CONCATENATE function. The “ “ (space) provides the split between the different cells. When you hit enter, Excel will combine the three cells into one, with spaces in between them.

Using the & symbol is a great way to save time when you’re combining multiple cells.

Final Thoughts

Concatenation is a simple, yet powerful tool in Excel. It can make your data more readable and easier to analyze. Whether you’re combining first and last names, product names and prices, or any other type of data, the CONCATENATE function and the & symbol can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

So don’t be afraid to explore the world of Excel formulas! CONCATENATE is just one of the many formulas you can use to make your spreadsheets work harder for you.

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