Merging Excel Cells with Commas: Expert Data Concatenation Tips

Merging cells in Excel with commas, known as data concatenation, is a trick that can save you time and help keep your data organized. Essentially, it combines data from multiple cells into one cell, separated by commas. This can be useful when you want to create a single, easily readable list from various data points.

Step by Step Tutorial: Merging Excel Cells with Commas

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that merging cells with commas in Excel is a straightforward process that involves using a formula. This formula can be customized to fit your specific data needs.

Step 1: Select the cells you want to merge

Choose the cells containing the data you wish to combine.

Selecting the correct cells is crucial because if you choose the wrong range of cells, your data will not concatenate correctly. Ensure that the cells you want to combine are adjacent to each other and that there are no blank cells in between that might disrupt the process.

Step 2: Use the CONCATENATE function or the "&" operator

In a new cell, type in the CONCATENATE function or use the "&" operator to join the cells.

The CONCATENATE function is an older function and is now replaced by the CONCAT function in newer versions of Excel. However, both functions work similarly. You can also use the "&" operator to join the content of the cells with a comma. For example, if you’re joining cells A1 and A2, the formula would be either =CONCATENATE(A1, ", ", A2) or =A1 & ", " & A2.

Step 3: Drag the fill handle to apply the formula to other cells

If you’re merging multiple rows of data, click the fill handle of the cell with the formula and drag it down to fill the other cells.

This step will apply the concatenation formula to all the cells you wish to merge. This is a time-saver, especially when dealing with large amounts of data. Ensure that the fill handle is dragged correctly to avoid any errors in the data.

After completing these steps, your cells will be merged with commas separating the data. This new, combined data can be used for various purposes, such as creating lists, labels, or database entries.

Tips: Data Concatenation Techniques

  • Always make sure to include a space after the comma within the quotes when using the CONCATENATE function or "&" operator, to ensure readability.
  • Use the CONCAT function instead of CONCATENATE if you’re using a newer version of Excel, as it’s more efficient.
  • You can also merge cells with other delimiters, such as semicolons or spaces, depending on your data needs.
  • To merge non-adjacent cells, include the cell references in the formula separated by commas.
  • Remember that merging the cells does not remove the original data; it just creates a new cell with combined data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I merge cells with a delimiter other than a comma?

Yes, you can use any delimiter of your choice by altering the formula to include your preferred delimiter.

What happens to the original data after merging?

The original data remains intact. The formula creates a new cell with the combined data, leaving the original cells unchanged.

Can I merge cells across different worksheets?

Yes, you can reference cells from different worksheets in your formula to merge them.

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

There is no specific limit, but the total length of the resulting text must be within Excel’s cell character limit.

Can I merge cells with different formats (such as text and numbers)?

Yes, Excel will convert all data to text format when using the CONCATENATE function or "&" operator.


  1. Select the cells you want to merge.
  2. Use the CONCATENATE function or the "&" operator.
  3. Drag the fill handle to apply the formula to other cells.


Data concatenation techniques in Excel, including merging cells with commas, are essential skills for anyone looking to streamline their data management processes. Whether you’re creating mailing lists, organizing inventory, or simply tidying up your worksheets, knowing how to merge cells efficiently can save you a significant amount of time and effort. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to concatenate data with ease, using commas or any other delimiter that fits your needs. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different formulas and techniques until you find the one that works best for you. Keep exploring, keep learning, and you’ll become a master of Excel in no time!

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