How to Merge Two Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Merging two columns in Excel may sound like a tricky task, but it’s actually a breeze once you know how. In essence, what you’re doing is combining the data from two separate columns into one. This can be handy when you’re trying to clean up your data or make it easier to analyze. The process involves using a simple formula, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be merging columns like a pro.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Merge Two Columns in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve here. By merging columns, we’re taking the data from two adjacent columns and joining them into one. This can be useful in many scenarios, such as when you want to combine first and last names into a single column for a mailing list.

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the merged data to appear

Start by clicking on the cell in Excel where you want the combined data from the two columns to show up.

Selecting the right cell is crucial because this is where the result of the merge will appear. Make sure it’s the first cell in an empty column, so you have space for the rest of the merged data.

Step 2: Enter the Ampersand formula

Type in the formula =A1&B1 (assuming A1 and B1 are the cells you want to merge) into the selected cell.

The Ampersand (&) is the key player in this step. It’s what tells Excel to join the contents of two cells. Remember to replace ‘A1’ and ‘B1’ with the actual cell references you’re using.

Step 3: Press Enter

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

Pressing Enter will display the merged data in the cell you selected. If it looks good, you’re on the right track.

Step 4: Drag the formula down

Click on the bottom right corner of the cell (the fill handle) and drag it down to apply the formula to the rest of the cells in the column.

Dragging the fill handle will copy the formula to the other cells, merging the rest of the data in the two columns. Make sure to drag it down as far as your data goes.

After completing these steps, you should have a brand new column with the merged data from the two original columns. This can make data analysis much easier, as all the information you need is now in one place.

Tips for Merging Two Columns in Excel

  • Always start with a backup of your Excel sheet. Merging columns is irreversible, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you want to include a space or other character between the merged data, modify the formula to =A1 & " " & B1.
  • Double-check your cell references in the formula to ensure you’re merging the correct columns.
  • Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature if you need to split merged data back into separate columns later.
  • Practice the process on a sample data set first to get the hang of it before applying it to your actual data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to add a space between the merged data?

If you want to include a space or another character between the merged data, simply insert it into the formula with quotation marks. For example, =A1 & " " & B1.

Can I merge more than two columns?

Yes, you can merge more than two columns by extending the formula. For instance, to merge three columns, you would use =A1 & B1 & C1.

Can I undo the merge?

The actual merging process cannot be undone once you’ve saved and closed the file. However, you can use ‘Text to Columns’ to separate the data again if needed.

Will the merged column update if I change the data in the original columns?

Yes, because the merged column is created with a formula, it will update automatically if you change the data in the original columns.

Can I merge columns with different data types (e.g., text and numbers)?

Absolutely. Excel allows you to merge columns with different data types without any issues.


  1. Select the cell for the merged data
  2. Enter the Ampersand formula
  3. Press Enter
  4. Drag the formula down


Merging two columns in Excel is a straightforward task that can significantly streamline your data management and analysis. By following the step-by-step tutorial, you can effortlessly combine columns using the Ampersand formula. Remember to use the tips provided to enhance your merging process and refer to the FAQs for any additional guidance. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual Excel user, mastering how to merge two columns is a valuable skill that will save you time and simplify your work. So, why not give it a try and see how it can improve your Excel experience?

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