How to combine columns in Excel

Excel users frequently want to combine columns. For example to turn:

Excel combine first last

Into:

Excel concatenate first last

You can do this in Excel using the ‘&’ concatenate operator. And then copy this down to all the rows that are needed.

Excel concatenate operator

This works fine for modifying small tables. But it is tedious when you are combining lots of columns, especially on many worksheets.

However it is trivially easy to do in Easy Data Transform:

  1. Install Easy Data Transform on your PC or Mac, if you haven’t done so already. It will only take a minute. There is a fully functional free trial and you don’t have to give us your email or sign up to anything.
  2. Start Easy Data Transform.
  3. Drag the Excel spreadsheet whose columns you wish to combine onto Easy Data Transform. If there is more than one worksheet, select the one whose columns you wish to combine. A pink input item will be added.
  4. Ensuring the pink input item is selected, click the Concat Cols button in the Left pane. A blue transform item is added and selected.

Excel combine columns

In the Right pane you can now see that a new column has been added to right hand side. No need to ‘run’ anything. Select the columns you wish to combine and the Delimiter you wish to add between them (you can leave Delimiter empty).

Excel combine name columns

For more information on Concat Cols options see the Concat Cols documentation.

If you want to rename the new column you can use the Rename Cols transform.

If you want to combine the columns in a different order, use the Reorder cols transform in the Left pane before you Concat Cols.

When you are happy with the results you can output the transformed data to a new file in a range of file formats. Ensuring that the blue transform item is selected, click the To File button at the bottom of the Left pane to create a new output file (you might have to scroll down to see the button).

change Excel date format

If you need to combine columns in lots of Excel sheets, you can do it in a single operation using the batch processing feature.

Note that Concat cols is just one of 56 transforms that Easy Data Transform supports. It can split Excel columns just as easily. Easy Data Transform can process millions of rows and input and output in multiple formats.

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