Microsoft Excel has hundreds of features and shortcuts that help make your life easier.
If there’s something you wish you could do in your spreadsheet, odds are there’s already a feature for it. For example, you might already know how to merge cells, but you may run into a scenario where you need to merge just plain text instead of the entire cell. In this case, you’d use the CONCATENATE function.
How to use CONCATENATE in Excel
- Enter the formula by typing out =CONCATENATE in the desired cell
- Select the applicable cell for Text1, Text2, Text3, etc.
- Press enter to see the results
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to use the CONCATENATE function.
Using CONCATENATE in Excel
CONCATENATE is a fancy way of saying “to combine” - and that’s exactly what the function does. It allows you to combine multiple strings of text together. This will work for up to 30 strings of text at once.
|Note: In newer versions of Microsoft Excel, the CONCATENATE function has been replaced with CONCAT. Although the spellings are different, these functions work exactly the same.|
Before we jump into the example, let’s break down the formula.
In Excel, the word “syntax” refers to the arguments that make up a function. Here’s the syntax for CONCATENATE:
=CONCATENATE (text1, text2, text3, …)
Always be sure to include the equals sign (=) first. All Excel functions must begin with this symbol.
The arguments for the CONCATENATE function are simply the text inputs that you want to combine. For example, instead of “text1”, you would enter the first word or phrase that needs to be combined.
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Using the CONCATENATE function in an example
Now that you know how to enter the formula, let’s see how it works in an example.
In the image above, our worksheet has a column for first and last name. We will use CONCATENATE to combine these columns to get the full name. The result will show up in column C.
|Note: This example uses a newer version of Microsoft Excel. For this reason, we are using the CONCAT function. As mentioned previously, this is identical to CONCATENATE.|
Step 1: Enter an equals sign (=) and select CONCATENATE out of the list of functions that pops up
When you type out the equals sign, Excel is programmed to automatically populate a list of suggested functions. Finish typing CONCATENATE and select it when it pops up.
Step 2: Fill in the arguments
Once the formula is entered, you must select which cells will correspond to the arguments in the formula.
In this example, the arguments are defined as:
You can select these arguments simply by clicking on the corresponding cell. Just be sure to include a comma every time you move on to another argument.
Step 3: Press enter
To see the results, all you have to do is press enter and you’re done! If you’d like to replicate the function for the rest of the values in your worksheet, all you have to do is click the bottom right corner of the cell where your result is and drag down.
Excel will auto-populate the results so you don’t have to manually re-enter the function for each row.
Simple as that
Well, there you have it! The CONCATENATE function is one of many useful Excel formulas you should keep in your back pocket. The days of manually combing through data to get a perfect spreadsheet are long gone.