## Merge two columns with possible blank cells in excel (formula)

**Question: **

This article is terrific. Thanks so much for posting this solution!

I do have one question:

Let's say my "List 1" is auto updated and the number of entries in this list will fluctuate. Since the number of entries fluctuates, I would like to select a larger range than I actually have data in currently. The issue is when I make my "List 1" larger than the number of entries, the rows that don't currently have data in them, show up on my combined list as zeros.

So my question is, is there a way to adjust the formula so that when it looks at "List 1" for example, it skips over blank cells and continues to combine the list with "List 2".

*(You can find the question here: *Merge two columns into one list in excel)

**Answer:**

The array formula below removes blank cells. Another method is to use dynamic named ranges.

**Array formula in C2:**

This is an array formula, here is how to enter it. Type the formula in cell C2, press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously. Press Enter once. Release all keys. If you did it correctly, you now have curly brackets before and after the formula.

Copy cell C2 and paste it to cells below, as far as needed.

*This example merges two columns into one column using an array formula. If you are looking for merging two data lists with criteria, check this post: Merge lists with criteria*

**Named ranges**

List1 (A2:A7)

List2 (B2:B5)

What is named ranges?

### Explaining array formula in cell C8

**Step 1 - Understand relative and absolute cell referencing**

In cell C2 the formula is:

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A1))), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A1)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

In cell C8 the formula is:

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(**A7**))), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(**A7**)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

**Step 1 - Find cells containing a value in List 1 and return row numbers in an array**

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(**IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1)**, ROW(A7))), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1)

becomes

IF(ISBLANK({"AA";"DD";"";"GG";"HH";"TT"}), "", ROW(A2:A7)-MIN(ROW(A2:A7))+1)

becomes

IF({FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE}, "", {2;3;4;5;6;7}-MIN({2;3;4;5;6;7})+1)

becomes

IF({FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE}, "", {2;3;4;5;6;7}-2+1)

becomes

IF({FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE}, "", {1;2;3;4;5;6})

and returns

{1;2;"";4;5;6}

**Step 2 - Return the k-th smallest row number**

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, **SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A7))**), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

SMALL(array,k) Returns the k-th smallest number in this data set.

SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A7))

becomes

SMALL({1;2;"";4;5;6}, 8 )

and returns #NUM

**Step 3 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column**

=IFERROR(**INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A7)))**, IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

INDEX(array,row_num,[column_num]) returns a value or reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range

INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A7)))

becomes

INDEX(List1, #NUM)

and returns

#NUM

**Step 4 - Check if formula returns an error**

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A7))), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

becomes

=IFERROR(#NUM, IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

becomes

IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), "")

**Step 5 - Find cells containing a value in List 2**

IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(**IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1)**, ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), "")

IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1)

becomes

IF(ISBLANK({"MM";"";"WW";"TT"}), "", {2;3;4;5}-MIN({2;3;4;5})+1)

becomes

IF({FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE}), "", {1;2;3;4})

and returns

{1;"";3;4}

**Step 6 - Return the k-th smallest row number**

IFERROR(INDEX(List2, **SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A8)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))**), "")

SMALL(array,k) Returns the k-th smallest number in this data set.

SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A8)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, ROW(A7)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 7-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK({"AA";"DD";"";"GG";"HH";"TT"})))))

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 7-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT({FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE})))

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 7-SUMPRODUCT(--{TRUE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE}))

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 7-SUMPRODUCT({1;1;0;1;1;1})

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 7-5)

becomes

SMALL({1;"";3;4}, 2)

and returns 3.

**Step 6 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column**

IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A8)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), "")

becomes

IFERROR(INDEX(List2, 3), "")

becomes

IFERROR(INDEX({"MM";0;"WW";"TT"}, 3), "")

becomes

IFERROR("WW", "")

and returns WW.

**Download excel sample file for this tutorial. **

merge-two-columns with blanks.xlsx

(Excel 2007 Workbook *.xlsx)** **

**Functions in this article:**

**INDEX(**array,row_num,[column_num]**)**

Returns a value or reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range

**IF(**logical_test;[value_if:true];[value_if_false]**)
**Checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if TRUE, and another value if FALSE

**ISBLANK(**value**)
**Checks whether a reference is to an empty cell and returns TRUE or FALSE

**MIN(**number1,[number2]**)**

Returns the smallest number in a set of values. Ignores logical values and text

**ROW(**reference**)** returns the rownumber of a reference

**IFERROR(**value;value_if_error**)** Returns value_if_error if expression is an error and the value of the expression itself otherwise

**SMALL(**array,k**)** Returns the k-th smallest number in this data set.

**SUMPRODUCT(**array1, array2, **)**

Returns the sum of the products of the corresponding ranges or arrays

**NOT(**logical**)**

Changes FALSE to TRUE, or TRUE to FALSE

### 28 Responses to “Merge two columns with possible blank cells in excel (formula)”

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**Contact Oscar**

You can contact me through this webpage

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A1))), IFERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A1)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1)))))), ""))

please same for office 2003

Prash,

Excel 2003, array formula in C2:

=IF(ISERROR(INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A1)))), IF(ISERROR(INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A1)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1))))))), "", INDEX(List2, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List2), "", ROW(List2)-MIN(ROW(List2))+1), ROW(A1)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(List1))))))), INDEX(List1, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(List1), "", ROW(List1)-MIN(ROW(List1))+1), ROW(A1)))) + CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER

Copy cell C2 and paste it down as far as needed.

Could you please tell me what I need to do to add additional Lists? I'm trying to get 3 lists merged into a single list with no blanks for earlier versions of Excel. Thanks

Shawna,

The array formula would be ridiculously large, too large I think.

I was hoping to be able to add additional lists as well with the ability to remove the spaces. It's not to bad if you leave the spaces between the end of one list and the start of the next in.

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1,ROWS(V$2:V2)),IFERROR(INDEX(List2,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)),IFERROR(INDEX(List3,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(Lis2)),"")))

Instead I think I will just do a simply =cell in a new worksheet and than simply sort it.

Denis,

Thanks for a reply...if my data are in columns, do I simply change the formula to read "columns"?

Here is my dilemma: I work in a forensic lab and we typically have samples that undergo different procedures, culminating in a final procedure they all undergo. I am trying to compile a Total Sample List (which combines all of the samples from other lists). The data from the 'Total Sample List' will be drawn into MS Word to populate the forms we use according to sample type (that much I've already figured out). I'm a lab geek, not a computer geek UNFORTUNATELY!

Well, honestly I would have to say just give it a try. You could look at it as an experiment :)

I'm by no means an expert in excel. I spent a couple hours just modifying the above formula from one that was posted on this website prior.

I've been trying to create something close to this for a long time now for budgeting and cashflow of my personal finances.

-Good Luck!

Can this work, with the same dataset specified above, if the lists are defined :

List1 (A2:A10)

List2 (B2:B10)

instead of

List1 (A2:A7)

List2 (B2:B5)

that is, with trailing blank cells in the list. In my particular example, my lists will be filled top down, with any blank cells at the end, and i do know the maximum number of cells i could possibly have, if that helps.

Cause when i try this, i only get details from the first list.

Thanks

Graeme

Hi All,

I hope you are able to help me, must admit I don't do a whole lot with excel in my day to day role so my skills are really limited. The above formula functions OK in my workbook and combines two named ranges together into a single list with no 0's :) so all good.

My question is how would I add a third list, fourth list etc. etc to the formula ?

I'm attempting to set up one list that combines data from several other lists.

Thanks very much

Nathan

I have all 13 lists combined now using the below formula, now just struggling to add in the "Remove Balnks" piece, My application only allows imports from xlsx and not xlsm so I cannot do it the easy way (with a vb macro)

also the application will not recognize the file if it's been renamed :(

Formula

=IFERROR(INDEX(List1,ROWS(V$2:V2)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List2,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List3,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List4,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List5,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List6,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List7,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List8,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List9,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)-ROWS(List8)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List10,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)-ROWS(List8)-ROWS(List9)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List11,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)-ROWS(List8)-ROWS(List9)-ROWS(List10)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List12,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)-ROWS(List8)-ROWS(List9)-ROWS(List10)-ROWS

(List11)),

IFERROR(INDEX(List13,ROWS(V$2:V2)-ROWS(List1)-ROWS(List2)-ROWS(List3)-ROWS(List4)-ROWS(List5)-ROWS(List6)-ROWS(List7)-ROWS(List8)-ROWS(List9)-ROWS(List10)-ROWS

(List11)-ROWS(List12)),""))

Thanks

Nathan

I think I have this sorted now, I have used dynamic named ranges for List1 --> List13, in the refers to formula is:-

=OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$2,0,0,MATCH("*",Sheet1!$A:$A,-1),1)

this formula seems to work OK in as much that it does not include the column heading "Cell A1" but for some reason it is adding one row to the end?

so In my drop down I see:-

Value - sheet 1

Value - sheet 1

0

Value - sheet 2

0

Value - sheet 3

Value - sheet 3

0

looking at the named range I can see it's selecting one row more than there are values - can anyone explain why it's doing this ? I am sure it's a simple fix

Thanks

Nathan

Nathan,

try this named range:

=OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$2,0,0,MATCH("*",Sheet1!$A:$A,-1)-1,1)

Hi Oscar,

Thanks for getting back to me, I got this working using :-

=IFERROR(INDEX(Servers!A:A,AGGREGATE(15,6,(ROW(Servers!A:A)-ROW(Servers!A3)+1)/(Servers!A:A""),ROWS(C$1:C2))),"")

for each of the 13 lists and then used these ranges to make the drop down

Thanks

Nate

Hi Nathan,

I've been looking all over the internet for your solution to combining multiple columns that remove blanks into 1 cell. Can you please post an example file?

Thanks,

Andy

Dear Oscar,

I need to have both functions of columns combine (Skip banks + Distinct Values).

Please help.

Regards,

Alaa Abdullnabi,

See this file:

how-to-extract-a-unique-list-from-two-columns-in-excel-2007-no-blanks.xlsx

GREATTTTTT, REALLY MANY MANY THANKS... YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST.

Hi Oscar,

I'm trying to combine Column "A" values from multiple sheets (within same workbook) in condition that column "C" contain specific word/value e.g. "Good" within the same sheets. It's like filtering multiple sheets in one where specific value/ word is there.

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks

Alaa

Alaa Abdullnabi,

Download excel *.xlsx file

merge-two-columns-with-blanks-with-condition.xlsx

An alternative , and probably simpler approach has been presented by Sajan Thomas in the Chandoo.org forum , here :

http://chandoo.org/forums/topic/how-to-transpose-multiple-rows-into-one-column-without-0-in-excel

NARAYAN,

Yes, it is simpler but the solution presented here can transpose two non-contiguous columns.

Thanks for commenting!

I have a feeder list that creates 2 list, I have implemented your forumula and it works well, however the blanks in my list are created as spaces because a formula is returning a blank, is there any way I can tailor your formula to accept this condition and eliminate it from the final list, at the moment it is putting the "blanks into the combined list".

Cheers

JD

Hi John,

I have aexactly the same problem, did you find a way around it i.e. to ignore blanks that contain formulas? If so, do you have the formula?

Thanks

Unsure why this formula isn't removing blanks..

=ArrayFormula(IFERROR(INDEX(A$3:A$20, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(A$3:A$20), "", ROW(A$3:A$20)-MIN(ROW(A$3:A$20))+1), ROW(A1))), IFERROR(INDEX(C$3:C$20, SMALL(IF(ISBLANK(C$3:C$20), "", ROW(C$3:C$20)-MIN(ROW(C$3:C$20))+1), ROW(A1)-SUMPRODUCT(--NOT((ISBLANK(A$3:A$20)))))), "")))

Anyone able to shed some light?

Hi, this formula worked for me. It is consolidating comments made on other worksheets. Now I would like to add the name of the person who made the comment. How can I do that? for example, The name is located on A2 on each corresponding sheet.

IFERROR(IFERROR(INDEX(Additives,MATCH(0,IF(ISBLANK(Additives),1,COUNTIF($B$1:B100,Additives)),0)),INDEX(AdminBuilding,MATCH(0,IF(ISBLANK(AdminBuilding),1,COUNTIF($B$1:B100,AdminBuilding)),0))),"")

Does the original formula have a version using IF(ISERROR), using it with OO Calc?

This is great!! Thanks for sharing :) Is there a way to account for "Blank" cells that contain a formula? The cells do not contain data, so I'd like to skip them, but since we use the ISBLANK function, they are not registering as Blank...?

Thank you!!!

Dana,

Yes, it is possible: