Excel Tip: Combine Two Columns of First and Last Names

If you have a spreadsheet that contains a column of first names and a column of last names, and you would like to combine those names into one column, here's a quick trick that will get the job done.

For this example, let's assume that Column A contains first names and Column B contains last names. We will place the combined first and last names in Column C, with a space separating the first and last names.

Step 1: To combine two columns of names into one column, use this formula in the first row of column C:
=CONCATENATE(A1," ",B1)

Note that there should be a space separating the two quotation marks in the formula.

Step 2: Copy the formula down for as many names as you have. The first and last names will appear together in Column C, separated by a space.

If you no longer need the names in Columns A and B and want to remove those names, follow these steps:

Step 3: Highlight the combined names in Column C

Step 4: Click the Copy button

Step 5: While the cells are still highlighted, choose Edit, Paste Special from the menu, click the "Values" box, then click OK.

Step 6. Delete the contents of columns A and B.

You can also use this procedure to combine names in reverse order, with the last name first and a comma separating the last and first name. In this situation, the formula for Column C would include a comma between the quotation marks and would look like this:

=CONCATENATE(B1,",",A1)

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