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How to Use the CONCATENATE Function in Excel: 3 Easy Steps

Izabelle Hundrev
Izabelle Hundrev  |  October 21, 2019

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.

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.

The syntax

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

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.

using concatenate excel 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.

select concatenate in Excel

Step 2: Fill in the arguments

Once the formula is entered, you must select which cells will correspond to the arguments in the formula.

typing the concatenate formula in cell
In this example, the arguments are defined as:

Text1: Spongebob
Text2: SquarePants

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.

filling out concatenate function arguments
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.

drag cells down to replicate concatenate function
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.

Looking to further your Excel knowledge? Learn the basics of the SUMIF function or how to make a line graph in Excel.

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Izabelle Hundrev
Author

Izabelle Hundrev

Izabelle is a Content Marketing Associate who joined G2 in April 2018. After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Izabelle moved back to her hometown of Chicago in pursuit of a career and deep dish pizza. Outside of work, she is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel. (she/her/hers)