Monday, April 13, 2009

Join First and Last Names in a Single Cell

Unless you're a power user or a statistician, chances are you often use Excel to manage text lists instead of numerical data. For example, you might use Excel as your source file for a mail merge.

Let's imagine that somewhere along the way you separated out first names from last names, and now you want to join them back together in a single column.

Instead of going through your list and retyping all those names, you can tell Excel to put the first name, a space, and the last name in a single cell. The formula is pretty simple:

=A3&" "&B3

The ampersand tells Excel to join one value to another, while the quotation marks tell Excel to insert a specific character (or a space, in this case). So the formula above says, in effect, “Join the first name to a space, and then join the space to the last name.

To repeat the formula, just grab the lower right hand corner of the cell and drag down.

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