How to Combine Names in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Joining Text

Combining names in Excel is a breeze when you know the right steps. You can merge first and last names into one cell using Excel’s CONCATENATE function or the ‘&’ operator. We’ll break down the process step-by-step, making it simple even for beginners.

How to Combine Names in Excel

In this tutorial, we will guide you through combining names in Excel using simple and effective methods. By the end of these steps, you’ll be able to merge first and last names into a single cell efficiently.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

The first step is to open the Excel file that contains the names you want to combine.

Ensure your data is organized, with first names in one column and last names in another. Having a well-structured spreadsheet will make the process smoother.

Step 2: Click on an Empty Cell

Next, click on the empty cell where you want the combined name to appear.

Choosing the right cell is important. Typically, you’d select a cell in a new column next to your first and last names.

Step 3: Enter the Formula

Type =CONCATENATE(A2, " ", B2), replacing A2 with the cell containing the first name and B2 with the cell containing the last name.

This formula will merge the contents of cell A2 and B2, with a space in between. The CONCATENATE function is a powerful tool for combining text in Excel.

Step 4: Press Enter

After typing the formula, press Enter to see the combined name appear in the cell.

If done correctly, the cell will now display the first and last name together. This step confirms that your formula works as intended.

Step 5: Copy the Formula

Click and drag the fill handle (a small square at the cell’s bottom-right corner) down to copy the formula to other cells.

Dragging the fill handle copies the formula to adjacent cells, ensuring all rows have combined names. It’s a quick way to apply the same operation to multiple cells.

Once you complete these steps, your Excel sheet will display combined names in the selected column, making your data more concise and organized.

Tips for Combining Names in Excel

  • Use the ‘&’ Operator: For combining text, you can also use =A2 & " " & B2 as an alternative to CONCATENATE.
  • Avoid Extra Spaces: To prevent unwanted spaces, ensure there are no trailing or leading spaces in your original data.
  • Use TRIM Function: Apply =TRIM(A2) to remove any extra spaces from names.
  • Text Functions: Explore other text functions like LEFT, RIGHT, and MID to manipulate text further.
  • Autofill: Use Excel’s autofill feature to quickly apply formulas to large datasets, saving time and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I combine names without spaces?

Yes, simply omit the space in the formula: =CONCATENATE(A2, B2) or =A2 & B2.

Can I add more than two names together?

Absolutely, you can combine multiple cells by extending the formula: =CONCATENATE(A2, " ", B2, " ", C2).

What if I have middle names too?

You can include middle names in the formula: =CONCATENATE(A2, " ", B2, " ", C2) for first, middle, and last names.

How do I combine names from different sheets?

You need to reference the sheet names in your formula: =CONCATENATE(Sheet1!A2, " ", Sheet2!B2).

Can I automate this process?

Yes, using VBA macros, you can automate the process for large datasets.


  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Click on an empty cell.
  3. Enter the formula.
  4. Press Enter.
  5. Copy the formula.


Combining names in Excel is a handy skill that can streamline your data management tasks. Whether you’re consolidating customer lists, organizing contacts, or preparing spreadsheets for mail merges, knowing how to merge text in Excel can save you a lot of time.

Remember, the CONCATENATE function and the ‘&’ operator are your best friends in this task. They make it easy to join multiple cells into one, ensuring your data is neat and comprehensible.

If you frequently work with large datasets, consider exploring Excel’s vast array of text functions to enhance your skills even further. And if you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to share it with others who might benefit.

Happy Excel-ing!

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