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:
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:
About David Ringstrom, CPA
David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.