How to Combine First and Last Names Into One Cell in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Combining first and last names into one cell in Excel is a common task that can save you time and help keep your data organized. It’s pretty simple to do, and you can achieve it by using a formula that joins text strings together. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial: Combining First and Last Names in Excel

Before we start with the steps, let’s understand what we aim to achieve. We’re going to use a formula that combines the content of two cells (first name and last name) into a single cell. This can be useful for creating email lists, organizing contact information, or for any situation where you need a full name in one cell.

Step 1: Select the Cell for the Combined Name

Click on the cell where you want the combined name to appear.

Selecting the right cell is crucial as this is where your result will be displayed. Make sure it’s the next empty cell after your list of names to avoid overwriting any existing data.

Step 2: Enter the Concatenate Formula

Type in the formula =CONCATENATE(A1, " ", B1) if you’re working with older versions of Excel, or =A1 & " " & B1 for newer versions.

The CONCATENATE function or the ‘&’ symbol in Excel is used to join two or more text strings into one string. The quotation marks " " add a space between the first and last names.

Step 3: Press Enter

After typing the formula, hit Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.

Once you press Enter, you should see the first and last names combined in the cell you selected. If it doesn’t work, double-check your formula for any typos.

Step 4: Drag the Fill Handle Down

If you have a list of names, click on the fill handle at the bottom right corner of the cell and drag it down to apply the formula to the rest of the cells.

Dragging the fill handle down is a quick way to apply the same formula to multiple cells. This action will combine the corresponding first and last names in each row.

After completing these steps, you will have a column of combined first and last names in your Excel spreadsheet.

Tips for Combining First and Last Names in Excel

  • Always check for extra spaces before or after the first and last names in your cells, as these can affect the result.
  • If you have middle names or initials, you can include them in your formula by adding another & " " & C1 (assuming C1 is the cell with the middle name or initial).
  • Use the TRIM function to remove any unwanted spaces from your data before combining the names. The formula would look like =TRIM(A1) & " " & TRIM(B1).
  • In case of errors, use the function wizard (fx) in Excel, which provides step-by-step assistance in building formulas.
  • Remember that Excel formulas are case-sensitive, so be sure that you’re consistent with your use of uppercase and lowercase letters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to add a comma between the last and first name?

To add a comma, modify the formula to =B1 & ", " & A1.

Can I combine more than two cells?

Absolutely, you can combine as many cells as you need by continuing to add & " " & CellReference to your formula.

What if my first and last names are in different rows instead of columns?

In that case, you would adjust the formula to reference the correct rows, such as =A1 & " " & A2.

Can I use this method to combine other data, not just names?

Yes, you can use this method to combine any text strings in Excel.

What if I have a list of names with different lengths?

The formula will still work. Excel will adjust and combine them based on the length of each name.


  1. Select the Cell for the Combined Name
  2. Enter the Concatenate Formula
  3. Press Enter
  4. Drag the Fill Handle Down


Excel is a powerful tool that can make your life easier in many ways, one of which is combining text from different cells. This task might seem small, but it can significantly streamline your workflow when dealing with large datasets. Whether you’re preparing a mailing list, sorting out invitations, or simply organizing your contacts, knowing how to combine first and last names into one cell in Excel is a neat trick to have up your sleeve.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formulas and techniques to find what works best for you. And remember, practice makes perfect! So go ahead, open up Excel, and give it a try – you might just surprise yourself with how quickly you become a pro at it. Happy Excel-ing!