What Is Data Concatenating Data In Excel 2007


Concatenation is a fancy word for the process of stringing together different pieces of information to form a new piece of data. For example, let’s say we have columns containing title and first name and another containing last name; we could use concatenation to create each person’s full name. All we have to do is to string together the title, first name and last name.

Excel offers two methods of concatenation. The first is to use the ampersand (‘&’) which is the concatenation operator: the second is to use the CONCATENATE function. To use the ampersand in our Full Name example, we would first type in “=” to indicate that we want to create a function. Secondly, we would click on the cell containing the title to have Excel add a reference to that cell to our formula.

Next, we need to add a space to separate the title from the first name. To do this, we type the concatenation operator followed by a space and since a space is a character it has to be enclosed in quotation marks. Thus, we would type ‘& ” ” &’. After that, we click on the cell that contains the first name, then type ‘& ” ” &’ once more to add a space separating the first name from the last name.

To finish, we click the cell that contains the last name and, to confirm the formula, either press the Enter key or click on the Enter button on the left of the formula bar.

Now let’s look at the CONCATENATE function. When using the Insert Function command, this is found in the Text category and allows you to string together up to 255 pieces of information. For example, let’s say that our title was in cell C2, our first name in D2 and our last name in E2; our formula would read ‘=CONCATENATE(C2,” “,D2,” “,E2)’.

As to which method is better; there is not much to choose between them. Simply use the one which seems simpler or more logical to you. One argument for using the first method is that the use of a concatenation operator is found in most scripting and programming languages. Some environments use an ampersand; others use a plus sign.

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