To join separate first and last names together into a single full name, you use concatenation. In the generic version of the formula above, first is first name, and last is last name. In the example shown, the formula in cell D5 is:

=B5&" "&C5

The result is the text in B5 joined to the text in C5, separated by a space.

Generic formula

=first&" "&last


The ampersand character (&) is a special operator in Excel that is used for concatenation. Concatenation is just a fancy word for "join". In the formula, the text in B5 "Susan" is being joined to a space character (" ") and then to the text in cell C5, "Chang".

When you use concatenation in a formula, be sure to enclose literal text in double quotes (""). Do not enclose the ampersand (&) in quotes, unless you want it to appear in the final result.


You can also use the CONCATENATE function to join text like this:


The CONCATENATE function keeps things tidy, but the ampersand creates shorter, more flexible formulas.

Dave Bruns Profile Picture

AuthorMicrosoft Most Valuable Professional Award

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.