In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the TEXTJOIN function in Excel, which is a powerful formula for concatenating (joining) text strings from multiple cells or ranges. This function is particularly useful when you need to combine text from different cells with a specific delimiter, such as a comma, space, or any other character. We will cover the syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, troubleshooting, and related formulae for the TEXTJOIN function.
The syntax for the TEXTJOIN function in Excel is as follows:
=TEXTJOIN(delimiter, ignore_empty, text1, [text2], …)
- delimiter is the character or characters that you want to use to separate the text strings. This can be a single character, a combination of characters, or even a reference to a cell containing the delimiter.
- ignore_empty is a logical value (TRUE or FALSE) that specifies whether to ignore empty cells in the range. If set to TRUE, empty cells will be skipped; if set to FALSE, empty cells will be included with the delimiter.
- text1, [text2], … are the text strings or cell references that you want to join. You can provide up to 252 text arguments, including cell references, text strings, or even other functions that return text.
Let’s look at some examples of how to use the TEXTJOIN function in Excel:
- Basic example: Suppose you have three cells with the following text: A1 = “John”, B1 = “Doe”, C1 = “Smith”. To join these cells with a space delimiter, you can use the following formula:
=TEXTJOIN(” “, TRUE, A1, B1, C1)
This will return the text “John Doe Smith”.
- Using a custom delimiter: If you want to join the same cells as in the previous example, but with a comma and a space as the delimiter, you can use the following formula:
=TEXTJOIN(“, “, TRUE, A1, B1, C1)
This will return the text “John, Doe, Smith”.
- Ignoring empty cells: If you have a range of cells with some empty cells, you can use the ignore_empty argument to skip them. For example, if you have the following cells: A1 = “Apple”, B1 = (empty), C1 = “Banana”, you can use the following formula to join the non-empty cells with a comma delimiter:
=TEXTJOIN(“,”, TRUE, A1, B1, C1)
This will return the text “Apple,Banana”.
- Joining a range of cells: You can also use the TEXTJOIN function to join a range of cells. For example, if you have a range A1:C1 with the values “Red”, “Green”, and “Blue”, you can use the following formula to join them with a hyphen delimiter:
=TEXTJOIN(“-“, TRUE, A1:C1)
This will return the text “Red-Green-Blue”.
TEXTJOIN Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the TEXTJOIN function in Excel:
- Remember that the delimiter can be any combination of characters, not just a single character. This can be useful when you need to join text with more complex separators, such as a newline character (use CHAR(10) as the delimiter).
- If you need to join a large range of cells, consider using an array formula with the TEXTJOIN function. This can help you avoid having to manually enter each cell reference in the formula.
- When using the ignore_empty argument, keep in mind that cells containing only spaces or other non-printing characters are not considered empty. If you want to ignore such cells, you may need to use additional functions like TRIM or CLEAN in your formula.
Common Mistakes When Using TEXTJOIN
Here are some common mistakes that users make when using the TEXTJOIN function in Excel:
- Forgetting to include the delimiter argument, which can result in the text strings being joined without any separation. Always specify the delimiter you want to use in the formula.
- Using the wrong logical value for the ignore_empty argument. If you want to skip empty cells, make sure to use TRUE; if you want to include empty cells with the delimiter, use FALSE.
- Not providing enough text arguments or providing too many. The TEXTJOIN function can handle up to 252 text arguments, so make sure you stay within this limit.
Why Isn’t My TEXTJOIN Working?
If your TEXTJOIN formula isn’t working as expected, here are some troubleshooting steps to help you identify and fix the issue:
- Double-check the syntax of your formula, making sure you have included the delimiter, ignore_empty, and text arguments correctly.
- Ensure that the delimiter you are using is appropriate for your desired output. If you’re not getting the expected result, try changing the delimiter to see if it resolves the issue.
- Check the values in the cells you are trying to join. If there are any errors or unexpected values, this may be causing the TEXTJOIN function to return an incorrect result.
- If you’re still having trouble, try breaking down your formula into smaller parts to identify the specific issue. For example, you can use the CONCATENATE function to join individual cells and see if the problem lies with the delimiter or the text arguments.
TEXTJOIN: Related Formulae
Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with the TEXTJOIN function in Excel:
- CONCATENATE: This function allows you to join text strings without a delimiter. It has been replaced by the CONCAT function in newer versions of Excel, but is still available for compatibility purposes.
- CONCAT: This function is similar to CONCATENATE, but is available in newer versions of Excel. It also allows you to join text strings without a delimiter.
- LEFT, RIGHT, MID: These functions allow you to extract specific parts of a text string, which can be useful when you need to manipulate text before joining it with the TEXTJOIN function.
- TRIM: This function removes extra spaces from a text string, which can be helpful when you want to join text with the TEXTJOIN function and need to ensure that there are no unnecessary spaces.
- REPLACE: This function allows you to replace part of a text string with another text string, which can be useful when you need to modify text before joining it with the TEXTJOIN function.
=CONCATENATE(text1, [text2], …)
=CONCAT(text1, [text2], …)
=LEFT(text, num_chars) =RIGHT(text, num_chars) =MID(text, start_num, num_chars)
=REPLACE(old_text, start_num, num_chars, new_text)
By understanding the TEXTJOIN function and its related formulae, you can efficiently manipulate and join text strings in Excel to achieve your desired results.