The Excel CONCATENATE Function

Basic Description

The Excel CONCATENATE function joins together a series of supplied text strings or other values, into one combined text string.

The format of the function is :

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

where the text arguments are a set of one or more text strings or other values that you want to join together.

In Excel 2007 and later versions of Excel, you can supply up to 255 text arguments to the Concatenate function, but in Excel 2003, the Concatenate function can only accept up to 30 text arguments.

Using the & Operator to Concatenate

Note that you can also use the & operator to concatenate in Excel.

This is described in the Excel String Concatenation page.

Concatenate Function Examples

The following spreadsheets show the Concatenate function, used to join together the strings in columns A - C of the example spreadsheet.

 Formulas:
Examples of use of the Excel Concatenate Function
 Results:
Excel Concatenate Function Results

Note that, in the examples above:


Further information and examples of the Excel Concatenate function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.


Trouble Shooting

Concatenate Function Common Problem - Dates & Times

One of the most common Concatenate problems encountered by Excel users is that the result shows a date or time as a number, as shown below:

 Formulas:
Example of Common Problem when using the Excel Concatenate Function
 Results:
Results of Common Problem when using the Excel Concatenate Function
Likely Reason

Dates and times within Excel are represented by numbers, and it is simply the formatting of a cell that causes these numbers to be displayed as dates and times. Therefore, when an Excel date or time is supplied to the Concatenate function the underlying numeric value is displayed in the result (read more about Excel data types on the Excel Formatting page).

Solution

This problem can be solved by using the Excel Text function to convert the date or time value into a text string. This is shown in the example spreadsheet below:

 Formulas:
Solution to Common Problem when using the Excel Concatenate Function
 Results:
Results of Solution to Common Problem when using the Excel Concatenate Function
The date and time formatting types are explained further in the Excel Custom Number Format page.