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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 1, 2020)
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:
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
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.
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