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Popular Functions in Excel: Lesson 7 – “CONCATENATE”

3 minute read

Excel Green

In part seven of our miniseries on the most popular Excel functions, we’ll cover the “CONCATENATE” function, which combines text from different cells into one cell.

If you missed the first parts of our series, check out part one (“IF”)two (“SUM”), three (“COUNTIF”), four (“VLOOKUP”), five (“SUMIF”), and six (“LOOKUP”)

So, what exactly is concatenation? Essentially, it means you take the contents from multiple cells and combine those contents into a new cells. This is really useful when you have information in column form throughout a spreadsheet, but you might want to combine two or more pieces of information into a single string.

Before we dive in, we should mention that if you’re using the most recent version of Excel, you might want to switch to the CONCAT function instead of CONCATENATE. Microsoft has switched to the new form, and the old one may disappear in future iterations. If you’re using a version prior to 2016 though, you will still want to use the full CONCATENATE term.

So to get started with concatenate, type =CONCATENATE and open your parentheses.



From there, it is very easy to combine values. Just select the first cell that you want to include in your string, separate it with a comma, and then select the second value.


Then close the parentheses, and hit Enter. Your cell will have the combined values.



Here’s a tip though–if you execute the command like this, it will just string all the data right together. If you want it to display in a more readable form, you should separate the two terms in your parentheses with an empty set of quotation marks. This will insert a space in between the two terms that you pull into the concatenate term. 



When you close the parentheses and hit Enter, there you go–you will get your returned value with a space in between the two terms.



Now, this doesn’t have to be only limited to two terms or values that are already in other cells. Say that we want to pull some values from various cells and give it a label “Attention” in order to let our coworkers know that action is needed on this particular item. We can include “Attention” as an item in the concatenate function, by including it as its own term after the cell values that we’re pulling in.



This way, the final result will have “Attention” in it.


Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

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