Category Archives: Excel

Combining columns of text in Excel

Excel’s & (ampersand) symbol is powerful tool for combining columns.  For example, you can

  • Display names in different ways.  Eg., “John” in A1 and “Smith” in B1 can be shown as
    • John  Smith by =A1 & ” ” & B1
    • Smith, John by =B1 & “, ” & A1
  • Making a mini-mailmerge for copying & pasting student grades into an email (see video).
    • Named fields help with this.  Instead of =”Hello, how are  you today ” & A1 & “?” , write =Greet & A1 &”?”, and name a cell Greet with the opening message.
    • Another useful function is =char(10), which inserts a line break into your text.

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