## Merge Cells in Columns

You have two ways to initially merge cells before copying their contents: using an ampersand operator or using the `CONCAT`

function. We’ll cover both.

### Method 1: Using the Ampersand Operator

The ampersand symbol (&) has more uses than a shorter way to type the word “and.” You can use the ampersand operator in a formula to combine data in cells.

Go to the cell in the first row of your new column for the merged data and insert one of the following formulas replacing the cell references with your own.

To merge the cells A2 and B2, you would enter the following formula and press Enter:

=A2&B2

This combines the data in those two cells into one string.

To merge the cells A2 and B2 with a space in the middle, you would use the following formula:

=A2&" "&B2

Note the space between the parentheses. This is handy for combining first and last names or words that need a space between.

To merge the cells in A2 and B2 with a hyphen in the middle, you would use this formula:

=A2&"-"&B2

This is convenient for merging phone numbers or product identifiers.

After this, you can move on to the next step, copying the formula.

### Method 2: Using the CONCAT Function

While merging cells and columns with the ampersand operator isn’t difficult, it does require some extra typing. Instead, you can use the `CONCAT`

function or the older `CONCATENATE`

function.

Go to the cell in the first row of your new column for the combined data and use one of the following formulas. Remember to replace the cell references with your own.

To merge the cells A2 and B2, you would enter the following formula and press Enter:

=CONCAT(A2,B2)

The result is the same as the first ampersand formula above. You have one string without spaces.

To merge the cells A2 and B2 with a space in the middle, you would use the following formula:

=CONCAT(A2," ",B2)

With this formula, you can place a space between text or numbers. Note the space between the parentheses.

To merge the cells in A2 and B2 with a hyphen in the middle, you would use this formula:

=CONCAT(A2,"-",B2)

Again, this is useful for numbers or even words that contain dashes.

Now that you’ve merged two cells in a row of your two columns, it’s time to copy the formula.

## Copy the Formula

Once you have the first formula inserted, you don’t have to enter it manually for each row in your column. Simply copy the formula down.

Select the cell containing the formula. When the Fill Handle (plus sign) appears on the bottom right corner of the cell border, double-click. This copies the formula as far down the column as there is data, which is ideal for columns that span many, many rows.

Alternatively, you can drag the plus sign as far as you need to, rather than double-clicking it. You might use this option if you want to stop at a certain point in the column.

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