# How to Combine First and Last Name in Excel (2024 Guide)

This has to be one of the most fun articles that you’ve ever read.

There are many ways how you can merge names (the first and last ones) in Excel automatically. In the guide below, we are going to learn them all👇

So download our free sample workbook for this article here and make sure you’re tuned in till the end.

## Combine names with ampersand (&)

The ampersand symbol (&) – the one that often represents “And”. Excel takes it as the concatenation tool. If you use it between two cell values, Excel takes it as the command to join together the two cell values🤝

Let me show you here. The image below has two lists of names (the first and the last name).

To combine them, follow these steps:

1. Activate the cell where you want the combined name.
2. Write in the following formula.

= A2 &

We have referred to the cell that contains the first name (Cell A2).

Next to it is the ampersand😎

1. Add a space character enclosed in double quotation marks.

= A2 & “ “

This tells Excel to merge the cell value in Cell A2 with a space character. We’re doing this because we want the first and last name combined with a space character in between.

1. Add another ampersand.

= A2 & “ “ &

1. Refer to the cell containing the last name i.e. Cell B2.

= A2 & “ “ & B2

With this, we have told Excel to join together the cell value in A2, a space character, and the cell value in Cell B2🚀

P.S: The sequence of values matters.

1. Hit Enter to be amazed by the results.

Excel combines the first name (Jane) with the last name (Austin) and there’s a space character in between. Yoo-hoo!

1. Drag and drop the results to the whole list of names.

Pro Tip!

You can use any character or no character at all. For example, if we want Jane and Austin combined as Austin, Jane, the above formula will change as follows👀

= B2 & ”,” & A2

That is the last name + an ampersand + a comma in double quotation marks + an ampersand + the first name.

## Combine first and last name with CONCATENATE

Same that we did above, can also be done using the CONCATENATE function. It just rids us of using an ampersand over and over again – everything else remains the same💁‍♀️

Let’s continue with the same dataset as above, but this time we will merge them using the CONCATENATE function.

1. Activate the cell where you want the combined name.
2. Begin writing the CONCATENATE function as follows.

= CONCATENATE (

1. Refer to the cell containing the first name as the first argument.

= CONCATENATE (A2,

1. Add a space character enclosed in double quotation marks.

= CONCATENATE (A2, “ “

1. Refer to the cell containing the last name i.e. Cell B2.

= CONCATENATE (A2, “ “, B2)

All the arguments of the CONCATENATE function are joined together in the sequence of their order.

1. Hit Enter.

The CONCATENATE function combines the first name (Jane) with the last name (Austin) with a space character in between.

1. Drag and drop the results to the whole list of names.

Easy, isn’t it🙈

## Combine first and last name with TEXTJOIN

Both the methods that we have seen until now require a separating character to be inserted in the formula/function every time it’s needed🚩

For example, to combine three cell values, you’d write the CONCATENATE function as follows:

= CONCATENATE (A2, “ “, B2, “ “, C2)

The separator (the space character) has to be inserted after each cell reference. Not just that, but each cell reference (or value) also needs to be defined individually.

If you’re done doing this, the TEXTJOIN function will help🎯

Here we have three columns of names. Let’s put them all together as one using the TEXTJOIN function.

1. Activate the cell where you want the combined name.
2. Begin writing the TEXTJOIN function as follows.

= TEXTJOIN (

1. Define the delimiter (in double quotation marks) that you want between all the values. We are setting it to a space character.

= TEXTJOIN (“ “

Pro Tip!

The problem with using the TEXTJOIN function is that you define a single delimiter (space character) that is used between all values.

If you want different separators to be used between different values, the TEXTJOIN function might not help you😵

1. Set the ignore_empty argument to TRUE.

= TEXTJOIN (“ “, TRUE

This tells Excel to ignore any empty cells (if included) in the range of cells to be joined together.

1. Refer to the cells containing the name.

As the names that we combined are sequentially arranged in columns (first, middle and last), we are referring to the whole cell range at once (A2:C2)🏹

= TEXTJOIN (“ “, TRUE, A2:C2)

This tells Excel to join all the cell values in Cells A2:C2 with a space character in between. And if there is any empty cell in between the said range, ignore it✌

1. Hit Enter.

The TEXTJOIN function combines the first name (Jane), the middle name (Lina), and the last name (Austin) with a space character in between all.

1. Drag and drop the results to the whole list of names.

So you can combine a big lot of cells with a single formula, and it’s just so hassle-free😍

## Combine names with Flash Fill

Good job with all the formulas, but you can combine names in Excel without using a formula, too.

The Flash Fill tool will do that for you⚡

1. Next to the column of names, activate a cell.
2. Manually write in the first name and the last name in it.
1. Now activate the next cell in the same column.
2. Start writing the first name for the corresponding row again. You’d be halfway across the name to see this.

Excel identifies the pattern you’re trying to follow. So the Flash Fill automatically fills in the remaining rows on the same pattern🧠

You can access the Flash Fill feature from the Data Tab, too.

Until now, this data is greyed (Excel is only hinting at the pattern it has identified).

1. Hit Enter (as soon as you see the greyed-out list beneath) to confirm the pattern.

Excel will populate all the remaining rows on the same pattern💡

Here’s something for you to note. The flash fill tool filled the rows on the pattern of the first combined name i.e. the first name + a space character + the last name.

This pattern could have been anything – the flash fill tool would have identified the same🧐

Pro Tip!

As the CONCATENATE and TEXTJOIN functions use cell references, any changes in cells will cause the combined name to change.

Whereas the combined names generated by the Flash Fill tool are simple values. Once populated, make any changes to the source names, and nothing will change in the combined names💪

## That’s it – Now what?

The guide above discusses all the methods that you can use to combine names in Excel. And why only names, you can combine any values using these methods.

Also, the reverse, separating names, is quite handy too.

If you have been doing this manually until now, you would’ve loved this article. Just like these, Excel has so many more tools, functions, and crazily useful features.

For me, the VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IF functions top the list of handy Excel functions🔎

If you haven’t used them (or learned to use them) yet, get your hands on them right now. Click here to access my 30-minute free email course to master these (and many more) functions in an instant.

## Other relevant resources

Hop on here to read our blog on the TEXTJOIN, CONCAT function, and CONCATENATE functions.

## Frequently asked questions

#### How to combine first and last names in Excel without a formula?

Use the ampersand (&) to combine first and last names in Excel without a formula.

For example, to combine the names ‘Demi’ and ‘Lovato’ with a space character in between, write the formula below.

= “Demi” & “ “ & “Lovato”

Or if those were cell values instead (say Cell A2 and B2).

= A2 & “ “ & B2