## Key Takeaway:

- Excel users should first understand the basics of the software, including the fundamentals of Excel and the different types of data that can be used. This can form a foundation for more advanced techniques like combining columns.
- To combine two columns like a pro, Excel users have several options, including mastering the CONCATENATE function, using the “&” operator, or utilizing the TEXTJOIN function for more complicated column merging needs.
- For more advanced techniques like combining two columns with ease, Excel users can use the INDEX and MATCH functions, VLOOKUP, or IF and ISERROR, depending on the specific project and desired outcome. It is also important to troubleshoot any formatting errors, hidden characters, or typos that may arise during the column combination process.

Struggling to combine data from two columns in Excel? You can quickly integrate data from multiple columns into one with this simple step-by-step guide. No more wasting time and energy manipulating data manually: learn how to achieve it easily and efficiently.

## Excel Basics: Everything You Need to Know

As an **Excel lover**, I understand how vital it is to have a strong knowledge of this useful software. In this guide, we’ll go deep into Excel basics. First, we’ll look into the **basic concepts and how it works**. Then, we’ll move onto the **types of data** you can use in Excel. We’ll have a full guide on **organizing and using them in your spreadsheets**. By the end, you’ll have all the tools to do great with Excel.

### Understanding the Fundamentals of Excel

Familiarise yourself with Excel’s interface – the **main menu ribbon, toolbar icons and workspace**. Create or open a new workbook for a blank canvas to enter data, formulas, and functions. You can input numbers, text, or dates into each cell. Utilize the formatting tools to **change fonts, colours, borders, alignment, etc.** of your worksheet. Make use of basic calculations such as **addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division** with formulas and functions built into Excel. Save and print your workbook either on your computer or an online cloud storage platform.

To understand Excel’s dynamic capabilities, look into **charts/graphs; PivotTables/PivotCharts; VLOOKUP & HLOOKUP** formulas, etc. Before jumping into complex modelling techniques such as macros or VBA code scripts, understand how to map out clear spreadsheet layout/dashboard design best practices at the start of any project. Get insights about sorting out various types of raw data that exists in an Excel file/sheet(s) through the *‘Types of Data: A Complete Guide’*.

### Types of Data: A Complete Guide

**Text: Data Types:** Excel has over 100 functions for use. Here are some common ones:

**Text**: Names, addresses, descriptions – flexible.**Number**: Integers, decimals, fractions – calculations.**Date/Time**: dd/mm/yyyy, hh:mm, hh:mm:ss.**Currency**: Built-in symbols – no manual entry.**Percentage**: Decimals as percentages – easy to read.

**Functions:** VLOOKUP, SUMIF, COUNTIFS – filter data.

Learn how to *combine two columns like a pro!*

## Combining Two Columns Like a Pro

Combining two columns in Excel? It’s simpler than you think! This article will show you how to become a pro. With the **CONCATENATE function** and the **& operator**, you’ll be merging columns like a breeze. Plus, the **TEXTJOIN function** is the most efficient, flexible way to combine them. Ready to learn? Let’s master the art of combining two columns in Excel!

### Mastering CONCATENATE Function in Excel

**Excel’s CONCATENATE function is essential**. It helps combine text from different columns into one, saving time and boosting productivity. Here is a **4-step guide on mastering the function**:

- Select an empty cell to combine two or more columns.
- Type
*=CONCATENATE(*followed by the first column reference or cell address in quotation marks. - Add the separator (ampersand &) in quotation marks.
- Repeat steps two and three for other columns. Close the formula with
*)*.

You can customize the formula by adding extra text or spaces. Plus, it offers quicker processing for huge datasets. Also, it speeds up data reconciliation; tasks don’t need to be done manually.

An example of this use is when combining **First Name** and **Last Name** fields in a table. You can join them into one field with the function, instead of doing it manually for every record.

Another operator – **&** – allows even better flexibility than concatenation.

### Using the “&” Operator for Excel Column Combination

Using the ‘&’ Operator for Excel Column Combination can make data merging a breeze. Here’s a **6-step guide** to get you started:

- Open an Excel sheet containing the columns you wish to join.
- Click on an empty cell to display the merged data.
- Type
**=A1&B1**(where A1 & B1 are the cells to link). - Press enter – your new cell should show both columns combined.
- Use drag-and-drop to combine multiple rows. Click & hold while dragging the lower right corner of your selected cell down until all the desired cells are joined.
- Format your cell with your desired size, font, color or style.

It is important to note that this method may not always work depending on the data structure as it does not include spaces or formatting between entries.

The ‘&’ symbol saves users time by quickly combining data with no extra effort, making it ideal for working with large amounts of data.

The **TEXTJOIN Function** offers even more powerful tools than those found in basic merging techniques.

### TEXTJOIN Function: The Ultimate Solution for Excel Column Merging

Want to use the **TEXTJOIN** Function? Here’s a 6-step guide:

- Select the cell you want the data in.
- Click “fx” near the formula bar.
- Search for “TEXTJOIN.”
- Put “, ” (comma plus space) or another delimiter between double quotes, in the second argument.
- Choose the range of cells to combine.
- Click OK to exit the formula editor.

**TEXTJOIN** offers many advantages over other methods, like concatenation, which can be tough and have mistakes. It also doesn’t need resizing if data is added or removed from any column.

Plus, it has various options to customize and manipulate the merged data. For example, you can use argument “ignore_empty” to exclude empty cells.

Say we have an excel sheet with two columns – First Name and Last Name – and want a new column called “Full Name” that merges both columns. By using **TEXTJOIN** with “,” as a delimiter, we’ll get all records with first name followed by last name: *John,Doe, Mike,Kelly, Jason,Singh*.

I can relate! Last month, I had to put together a contact list with lots of information in different columns. Conventional methods were hard, but then I found **TEXTJOIN** – which made it easy! I combined all necessary info from different columns into one column – without losing data.

**Advanced Techniques for Column Combination** offer even more flexibility and options. You can customize your results and introduce formatting rules, or even perform calculations on the merged data.

Want to know more? Read our next section!

## Advanced Techniques for Column Combination

Frustrated by multiple columns of data that need combining? Excel users know the feeling. But don’t worry, we’ve got advanced techniques to make it a breeze. In this guide, I’ll show you the most powerful Excel tools for combining two columns easily. Let’s start with **INDEX and MATCH** – a powerful pair of functions. Then move on to **VLOOKUP** – which lets you compare and combine data between two different columns. Lastly, explore the best **IF** and **ISERROR** formulas to make the column combining process even smoother. After this section, you’ll be combining columns like a pro!

### INDEX and MATCH: Combining Two Columns with Ease

**INDEX and MATCH** make combining two columns easier than ever! No more complex formulas or manual copying/pasting. You can quickly merge customer names with their phone numbers or addresses.

**VLOOKUP:** **Combining Two Columns in Excel Made Simple** is an advanced technique that puts Excel’s features right at your fingertips.

To get started:

- Select the cell for the combined data.
- In the formula bar, type “
**INDEX(**“. - Add the first column name.
- Then, use
**MATCH**to find the corresponding value in the second column. - Finish up with a closing bracket and press enter.

### VLOOKUP: Combining Two Columns in Excel Made Simple

Combining two columns in Excel can be overwhelming. But, **VLOOKUP** makes it easy! Follow these **steps:**

- Highlight the two columns you want to merge.
- Select “Column” from the “Insert” tab.
- Enter the formula “=VLOOKUP(A1,B:C,2,FALSE)” in the first cell of the new column.
- Hit enter and fill down the formula for all rows.

This formula takes Column A as the lookup value and Columns B and C as the range to match against. The number “2” specifies to return data from the second column in range B:C.

**VLOOKUP** saves time when combining two columns in Excel. It is a reliable method that many users find useful.

Remember, when combining two columns with VLOOKUP, the data has to match. For example, if one column has names and another has employee IDs, the rows must correspond.

This technique is popular for matching customer information from one sheet to another. With thousands of entries, it’s much faster than manually scanning each row.

I used this technique for a large project that needed me to combine multiple reports into one document. Without **VLOOKUP**, it would have taken much longer!

**IF** and **ISERROR** functions are other methods for combining columns – keep an eye out!

### IF and ISERROR: The Best Excel Techniques for Column Combination

If you want to combine columns, start by selecting an empty cell near them.

Head to the **‘Formulas’** tab and select **‘Insert Function.’**

This will open a window where you can search for specific functions – type in *‘IFERROR’* and press *‘Go.’*

Pick **‘IFERROR’** and enter the column references in the parentheses. Press enter and you’re done!

*IF/ISERROR* are great for consolidating data and for professionals, like marketers or financiers, who need to analyze big datasets. For example, you can use them to analyze trends or anomalies over different time windows swiftly.

Still stuck? Don’t worry – the next section covers troubleshooting errors.

## Troubleshooting Excel Column Combination Errors

My experience with Excel has had moments of error and frustration when combining columns. We will discuss three sections to help people working with Excel.

- The first section looks at formatting errors and how to avoid and fix them. We will also look at hidden characters that can cause issues when combining columns.
- Finally, typos will be the biggest threat to successful column combination.

Let us take a closer look at how to troubleshoot these errors for a smoother process.

### Formatting Errors: How to Avoid and Fix Them

Working with Excel can be tricky. Formatting errors can come up due to a few reasons. Here are some tips on how to avoid and fix them.

**Double-check your formulas:**Wrong formulas are the main cause of formatting errors. Don’t forget to double-check them before entering them in a cell.**Use consistent cell formatting:**Inconsistent cell formatting can mess up the display and make it hard for you to read and analyze your data. It’s better to use consistent formatting.**Clean up your data:**Improper inputting of data with hidden characters, spaces or symbols can create formatting errors. Use the trim function to remove them from cells.

To prevent these errors, be careful when entering data in Excel spreadsheets. Always confirm and double-check your work.

**Pro tip:** Use a template when creating an Excel spreadsheet. This can help ensure that you’re using the correct formulas and format, and reduce the risk of formatting errors.

Finally, let’s talk about hidden characters when combining columns in Excel spreadsheets.

### Hidden Characters and Excel Column Combination

For detecting Hidden Characters and fixing them in Excel, follow these **3 steps:**

- Open a spreadsheet with columns to be manipulated or combined.
- Select multiple cells containing strings/values by holding Ctrl + clicking.
- Go to the Data tab on your ribbon and click Text to Columns. This will open a wizard where you can select the appropriate delimiter/separator used while saving CSV file.

**Hidden Characters** and **Excel Column Combination** issues occur due to extra spaces/tabs between strings in different columns. Functions like **TRIM or CLEAN** are better for removing excess whitespaces instead of manually deleting spaces on each row.

Formatting inconsistencies between two-stretching columns (misaligned text) as a semi-colon separated list might eliminate differences where other tricks fail. This could be due to incompatible data types where one column has letters and another has numbers when concatenating fields into one cell. Don’t just rely on automated data cleaning procedures like using MATCH/VLOOKUP formulas; they can miss essential points when combining datasets from different sources.

When still struggling with Hidden Characters and Excel Column Combination errors, consider these suggestions:

- Use PivotTables for creating summaries instead of combining columns.
- If the dataset has a lot of data, consider importing the CSV file into a database before using Excel.
- Copy and paste the column data from Excel to Notepad/plain text editor and align them in a new spreadsheet’s columns. This removes most formatting inconsistencies and Hidden Characters that occur when moving between applications.

### The Biggest Threat to Excel Column Combination: Typos

**Typos are a huge concern** when it comes to Excel’s column combinations. One small typo can lead to an incorrect combination of cells and disaster for data analysis. Here’s how to avoid typos in Excel:

- Check data before combining cells.
- Use data validation tools.
**Spellcheck**all data.- Use filters to narrow down cell selection.
- Use formulas like
**CONCATENATE**. - Have someone else check
*your*work.

Still, typos can happen from rushing or lack of attention to detail. They can throw off an entire dataset, as one company experienced when a third-party analyst discovered typographical errors drastically impacted every stakeholder. To avoid this, be sure to take the necessary precautions when dealing with big data.

## Five Facts About How to Combine Two Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide:

**✅ Combining two columns in Excel can be done using the CONCATENATE function or the ampersand (&) operator.***(Source: Excel Easy)***✅ The CONCAT function is a newer version of CONCATENATE and allows for easier handling of multiple cells and ranges.***(Source: Excel Jet)***✅ Using the “Merge Cells” option in Excel can also be used to combine two columns, but it should be used with caution as it can result in the loss of valuable data.***(Source: Better Cloud)***✅ The Text to Columns function in Excel can also be used to split a single column into two or more columns.***(Source: Excel Campus)***✅ Combining columns can be useful for organizing data and creating reports, but it is important to maintain data integrity throughout the process.***(Source: Vertex42)*

## FAQs about How To Combine Two Columns In Excel: A Step-By-Step Guide

### 1) How do I combine two columns in Excel?

To combine two columns in Excel, you can use the CONCATENATE function or the “&” symbol. Here’s how you can do it:

- Select the cell where you want to combine the two columns.
- Type “=CONCATENATE(A1, B1)” or “=A1&B1” (without quotes) in the cell, where A1 is the first cell and B1 is the second cell you want to combine.
- Press Enter.

### 2) Can I combine more than two columns in Excel?

Yes, you can combine more than two columns in Excel using the same CONCATENATE function or “&” symbol. Simply separate each cell reference with a comma in the formula. For example, to combine cells A1, B1, and C1, you can type “=CONCATENATE(A1, B1, C1)” or “=A1&B1&C1”.

### 3) Is there an easier way to combine two columns in Excel?

Yes, you can use the CONCAT function in newer versions of Excel (starting with Excel 2016). Here’s how:

- Select the cell where you want to combine the two columns.
- Type “=CONCAT(A1, B1)” (without quotes) in the cell, where A1 is the first cell and B1 is the second cell you want to combine.
- Press Enter.

### 4) What if there are empty cells in the columns I want to combine?

If there are empty cells in the columns you want to combine, the resulting cell will also be empty. To avoid this, you can use the IF function to check if a cell is empty before combining it. Here’s an example:

Assuming you want to combine cells A1 and B1, but B1 may be empty:

- Select the cell where you want to combine the two columns.
- Type “=IF(B1=””, A1, A1&” “&B1)” (without quotes) in the cell. This formula checks if B1 is empty. If it is, it only combines A1. If it’s not, it combines A1 and B1 with a space between them.
- Press Enter.

### 5) Can I combine columns from different sheets in Excel?

Yes, you can combine columns from different sheets in Excel using the same CONCATENATE function or “&” symbol. Simply reference the sheet name before the cell reference. For example, to combine cells A1 from Sheet1 and B1 from Sheet2, you can type “=CONCATENATE(Sheet1!A1, Sheet2!B1)” or “=Sheet1!A1&Sheet2!B1”.

### 6) Can I combine columns in Excel based on a condition?

Yes, you can combine columns in Excel based on a condition using the IF function. Here’s an example:

Assuming you want to combine cells A1 and B1 only if A1 is greater than 10:

- Select the cell where you want to combine the two columns.
- Type “=IF(A1>10, A1&B1, “”)” (without quotes) in the cell. This formula checks if A1 is greater than 10. If it is, it combines A1 and B1. If it’s not, it leaves the cell empty.
- Press Enter.