Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Concatenating Ranges of Cells.

Concatenating Ranges of Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 1, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


1

Excel provides one workbook function and one operator that both have the same purpose—to combine strings into a longer string. The CONCATENATE function and the ampersand (&) operator have essentially the same purpose.

Many people use the ampersand operator in preference to the CONCATENATE function because it requires less typing, but CONCATENATE would become immensely more valuable if it would handle a range of cells. Unfortunately, it does not, but you can create your own user-defined function that will concatenate every cell in a range very nicely. Consider the following macro:

Function Concat1(myRange As Range, Optional myDelimiter As String)
    Dim r As Range

    Application.Volatile
    For Each r In myRange
        Concat = Concat & r & myDelimiter
    Next r
    If Len(myDelimiter) > 0 Then
        Concat = Left(Concat, Len(Concat) - Len(myDelimiter))
    End If
End Function

This function requires a range and provides for an optional delimiter. The last "If" statement removes the final trailing delimiter from the concatenated string. With the CONCAT1 function, cells can be added and deleted within the range, without the maintenance required by CONCATENATE or ampersand formulas. All you need to do is call the function in one of the following manners:

=CONCAT1(C8:E10)
=CONCAT1(C8:E10,"|")

The second method of calling the function uses the optional delimiter, which is inserted between each of the concatenated values from the range C8:E10. There is a problem with this, however: If a cell in that range is empty, then you can end up with two sequential delimiters. If you prefer to have only a single delimiter, then you need to make one small change to the function:

Function Concat2(myRange As Range, Optional myDelimiter As String)
    Dim r As Range

    Application.Volatile
    For Each r In myRange
        If Len(r.Text) > 0 Then
            Concat = Concat & r & myDelimiter
        End If
    Next r
    If Len(myDelimiter) > 0 Then
        Concat = Left(Concat, Len(Concat) - Len(myDelimiter))
    End If
End Function

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3062) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Concatenating Ranges of Cells.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Trimming Spaces from Strings

When processing text with a macro, you often need to remove extraneous spaces from the text. VBA provides three handy ...

Discover More

Default Picture Location

When you insert pictures into a document, the first folder that Word opens up is normally the My Pictures folder. You can ...

Discover More

Returning a Worksheet Name

Need to know the name of the current worksheet? You can use the CELL function as the basis for finding this information ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Deleting Everything Up to a Character Sequence

Sometimes you have too much information in a cell and you need to "pare down" what is there to get to the info you really ...

Discover More

Dealing with Long Formulas

If your worksheet formulas seem to go on forever, here's a handy way to make them more understandable. (All you need to ...

Discover More

Quickly Updating Values

You can easily adjust the values in a range of cells by a certain amount. The key is to modify how you use the pasting ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 3?

2019-05-11 11:28:36

Rick Rothstein

A few years ago, I posted a slightly more robust generalized concatenation function that the readers of this tip may find interesting. The function, along with a description of its options and how to use them, can be found in my mini-blog article located here...http://www.excelfox.com/forum/showthread.php/313-Flexible-Concatenation-Function


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.