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

Merging columns in Excel is a useful technique when you need to combine data from two or more columns into a single column. This can be done quickly using a formula or the built-in merge feature. You’ll be a pro in no time!

How to Merge Columns in Excel

Let’s dive into the specific steps to merge columns in Excel. This guide will help you combine data from different columns seamlessly.

Step 1: Select Your Data

First, highlight the columns you want to merge.

Select the specific cells or the entire columns you need to merge. It’s essential to ensure you select the right data to avoid errors.

Step 2: Insert a New Column

Second, insert a new column where the merged data will appear.

Right-click on the column header next to your selected data and choose "Insert." This new column is where your merged data will go.

Step 3: Use the CONCATENATE Function

Third, enter the formula to merge columns.

In the first cell of the new column, type =CONCATENATE(A1, " ", B1). Replace A1 and B1 with the actual cell references. This formula combines the data from two cells with a space in between.

Step 4: Copy the Formula Down

Fourth, copy the formula to the rest of the column.

Click on the bottom-right corner of the cell with the formula and drag it down to apply the formula to other cells. This action ensures all your data is merged correctly.

Step 5: Convert Formulas to Values

Finally, convert the formulas to values.

Select the merged column, copy it, then right-click and choose "Paste Special" > "Values." This step replaces the formulas with actual text values.

After completing these steps, you’ll see all your selected data combined into one column seamlessly.

Tips for Merging Columns in Excel

  • Ensure data consistency: Make sure the data in both columns is in the same format.
  • Backup your data: Always make a copy of your original data before merging columns.
  • Use clear separators: When using CONCATENATE, consider adding spaces, commas, or other characters to separate data for better readability.
  • Check for errors: Review your merged data to ensure no mistakes occurred during the process.
  • Automate with macros: If you perform this task frequently, consider recording a macro to save time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the CONCATENATE function do?

The CONCATENATE function combines data from multiple cells into one cell.

Can I use a different separator besides a space?

Yes, you can use any character, like a comma or dash, to separate your data.

What if the CONCATENATE function doesn’t work?

Ensure you have the correct cell references and that there are no typos in your formula.

Is there a limit to how many columns I can merge?

No, you can merge as many columns as you need, but readability might become an issue.

Can I undo the merge if I make a mistake?

Yes, you can use the Undo feature (Ctrl + Z) to revert any changes.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Insert a new column.
  3. Use the CONCATENATE function.
  4. Copy the formula down.
  5. Convert formulas to values.


Merging columns in Excel might seem daunting at first, but with this step-by-step guide, you can easily combine your data in just a few minutes. Whether you’re cleaning up a data set or preparing a report, knowing how to merge columns can be a real time-saver. Remember to back up your data before making changes and double-check your results to ensure accuracy.

If you’re curious about other Excel features, there’s a wealth of resources available online. Keep practicing, and you’ll become an Excel wizard in no time!

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