# How to Merge 3 Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Merging three columns in Excel sounds tricky, but it’s really just a few simple steps. You can combine data from multiple columns into one by using a formula. You’ll use the CONCATENATE or the newer CONCAT function. Follow these straightforward steps to merge your columns.

## How to Merge 3 Columns in Excel

To merge three columns in Excel, you’ll use a formula to combine the contents of each column into a single column. This method ensures that your data remains intact and organized. Follow these steps to get your columns merged efficiently.

### Step 1. Open your Excel file

First, open the Excel file that contains the data you want to merge.

You need to access your data before you can manipulate it. Make sure your file is saved to avoid any data loss.

### Step 2. Select a cell for the merged data

Choose an empty cell where you want the combined data to appear.

This cell will serve as the destination for the combined data from your three columns.

### Step 3. Enter the CONCATENATE or CONCAT formula

In the selected cell, type the formula `=CONCATENATE(A1, B1, C1)` or `=CONCAT(A1, B1, C1)`.

You can adjust the cell references (A1, B1, C1) based on where your data is located. The CONCAT function is a newer alternative to CONCATENATE and works similarly.

### Step 4. Press Enter

Hit Enter to apply the formula.

Your selected cell will now display the combined data from the three columns.

### Step 5. Copy the formula down

Drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the cell) down to apply the formula to other rows.

This step replicates the formula for each row, combining the data in corresponding cells across the three columns.

### Step 6. Replace formula with values (optional)

If you want to keep only the combined data, copy the entire column with the formula, then right-click and choose "Paste Values."

This changes the formulas into static text, ensuring your combined data remains even if you delete the original columns.

After completing these steps, your chosen cell will show data from the three columns combined into one. You’ll see all the data neatly merged, making your sheet more organized.

## Tips for Merging 3 Columns in Excel

• Use delimiters: If you want to add spaces, commas, or other characters between merged data, include them in the formula (e.g., `=CONCATENATE(A1, " ", B1, " ", C1)`).
• Check for empty cells: If any of the cells are empty, the formula will still work but might result in unwanted gaps.
• Save your work: Always save your Excel file before making changes to avoid data loss.
• Use the TEXTJOIN function: For more complex merging, try the TEXTJOIN function, which allows delimiters and ignores empty cells.
• Test with a few rows first: Before applying to the entire column, test the formula on a few rows to ensure it works as expected.

### Can I merge columns without using a formula?

Yes, you can use the "Merge & Center" feature, but it only keeps the top-left cell’s data and discards the rest.

### What if my columns have different data types?

Excel treats all data as text in CONCATENATE, so it should merge without issues.

### Can I undo merging columns?

Yes, use the Undo button or press Ctrl+Z immediately after merging.

### Do I need an Excel subscription to use these functions?

No, both CONCATENATE and CONCAT are available in regular Excel versions.

### What if I have more than three columns to merge?

You can extend the formula to include more columns as needed, like `=CONCATENATE(A1, B1, C1, D1, E1)`.

## Summary

2. Select a cell for the merged data.
3. Enter the CONCATENATE or CONCAT formula.
4. Press Enter.
5. Copy the formula down.
6. Replace formula with values (optional).

## Conclusion

Merging columns in Excel is a handy skill that can simplify your data management tasks. By following our easy steps, you’ll efficiently combine data from multiple columns into one. Whether you use CONCATENATE, CONCAT, or the more advanced TEXTJOIN function, Excel provides flexible options for any merging task. Remember to save your work and test the formula on a few rows first to make sure everything lines up perfectly. If you’re dealing with large datasets or different data types, Excel’s robust functions have got you covered. So, go ahead and give it a tryâ€”your organized, merged data awaits!