# How to use the CONCATENATE function

**What is the CONCATENATE function?**

The CONCATENATE function lets you add text strings into one single text string.

The function has been replaced by the CONCAT function in Excel 2016, although it still exists for compatibility with earlier Excel versions. The CONCATENATE function may be removed in a future Excel version, I recommend you use the CONCAT function or the more advanced TEXTJOIN function instead.

#### Table of Contents

## 1. Introduction

Section 5 below discusses the differences between the CONCATENATE, the ampersand character, and the ARRAYTOTEXT functions.

**What is the difference between the CONCATENATE function and the TEXTJOIN function?**

TEXTJOIN is more flexible than CONCATENATE as it allows you to control the delimiter and handle empty cells, while CONCATENATE is better suited for simple text concatenation without those advanced options.

The CONCATENATE and TEXTJOIN functions both allow you to combine multiple text values into a single result, but the two major differences is

- you need to specify each cell value in the CONCATENATE function which is tedious and time consuming. The TEXTJOIN function lets you specify a cell range which is a much better way to include many cells if needed.
- TEXTJOIN is only available in Excel 2019 and later versions. The CONCATENATE function is a legacy function that may be removed in future Excel updates.

**What is the difference between the CONCATENATE function and the CONCAT function?**

The CONCATENATE function and the CONCAT function in Excel are used to combine text strings, but the main difference between them is the syntax and the version of Excel that supports them.

- The CONCATENATE function is an older legacy function that has been available in Excel for a long time. It requires you to separate the text strings to be combined with commas, like this: CONCATENATE(text1, text2, ...) which may be time consuming if you have many cells to concatenate.
- The CONCAT function on the other hand is a newer function that was introduced in Excel 2019. It allows you to combine text strings using a comma separator or a cell reference to a cell range which is a huge improvement compared to the CONCATENATE function.

In terms of functionality both functions produce the same result which is to combine the text strings into a single string. However, the CONCAT function is more flexible and easier to use, especially when working with ranges of cells.

## 2. Syntax

CONCATENATE(*text1*, *[text2]*)

text1 |
Required. The argument can be a text value, number, or cell reference. |

[text2] |
Optional. You can have up to 255 additional text strings to join. |

The new TEXTJOIN function is a lot more versatile and easier to use, however, it is only available in Excel 2019 and later Excel versions.

There is a workaround available for earlier Excel versions:

Recommended articles

Joining multiple cell values in Excel is not easy, for example, the CONCATENATE function allows you to only reference a […]

## 3. Example

The image above shows values in cells B3:B6 which are "Dog", "Cat", "Squirrel", and "Hedgehog". The formula in cell D3 demonstrates how to concatenate values using the CONCATENATE function.

Formula in cell D3:

The formula in cell D3 returns "DogCatSquirrelHedgehog", note that you can't use a delimiting value.

You cannot use a cell range as an argument, only cell references to single cells are allowed. Press and hold the CTRL key to quickly select multiple cells while entering arguments in the CONCATENATE function.

## 4. CONCATENATE function not working

The CONCATENATE function requires single cell references in order to work. For example =CONCATENATE(A1, B1) works however, the following will not work:

=CONCATENATE(B2:C7)

The #NAME error is displayed if you misspelled the CONCATENATE function.

## 5. Comparing related functions

**The ampersand character &** lets you concatenate values in a formula. Ampersand

- No advanced options.
- Easy to use.

**The CONCATENATE function** is a simple function that allows you to quickly join values. CONCATENATE

- Has been replaced by the CONCAT function.
- Although the CONCATENATE function still exists in Excel for backward compatibility, it is a legacy function and may not be supported in future releases.
- You need to select each cell one by one which may become tedious and time consuming.
- Hold CTRL key while selecting cells to avoid typing delimiting characters between arguments.

**The CONCAT function** is a simple function that allows you to quickly join values from a cell range. CONCAT

- No delimiting value.
- CONCAT replaces the CONCATENATE function, Microsoft recommends you use this function over the CONCATENATE function from now on.

**The TEXTJOIN function** is more advanced, it lets you specify a delimiting value and ignore blank values. It takes multiple non adjacent cell ranges. TEXTJOIN

- The TEXTJOIN function is likely the most versatile option for concatenating text across multiple cells and ranges in Excel.
- You can specify delimiting values, however, no distinction between row and column delimiting values which is the case of the ARRAYTOTEXT function.
- You have the option to ignore blank values.

**ARRAYTOTEXT function** concatenates values from a given cell range or array. ARRAYTOTEXT

- Allows you to specify delimiters for both columns and rows.
- The result is a text string.

**Function key F9** lets you convert the formula to the output result in a given cell.

- Hard code the values in a formula.
- You have the option to select a part of the formula.
- Press Escape key to undo changes.

Here is how:

- Select the cell containing the formula you want to convert. The formula may be as simple as this: =B2:D5 which is a cell reference to cell range B2:D5.
- Press with left mouse button on in the formula bar so the prompt appears.
- Select the entire formula.
- Press F9 on your keyboard. Excel converts the formula and now shows the output from the formula.
- Press Esc key to go back to the original formula or press Enter to keep the changes.

### Useful resources

CONCATENATE function - Microsoft support

Using Concatenate In Excel: A Complete Guide

### 'CONCATENATE' function examples

The following article has a formula that contains the CONCATENATE function.

### Functions in 'Text' category

The CONCATENATE function function is one of 29 functions in the 'Text' category.

## How to comment

How to add a formula to your comment<code>Insert your formula here.</code>

Convert less than and larger than signsUse html character entities instead of less than and larger than signs.

< becomes < and > becomes >

How to add VBA code to your comment[vb 1="vbnet" language=","]

Put your VBA code here.

[/vb]

How to add a picture to your comment:Upload picture to postimage.org or imgur

Paste image link to your comment.

Contact OscarYou can contact me through this contact form