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How to Combine First and Last Name in Google Sheets (Easy & Quick)

December 7, 2023 900 views

Data organization is crucial, and merging first and last names in Google Sheets can make a significant difference. In this guide, we'll explore simple yet effective methods. As we delve into each process, I'll share insights from a user's perspective, offering tips and comparisons based on my experience.

How to Combine First and Last Names Using the Ampersand(&) Operator

Combining first and last names in Google Sheets is a straightforward process, and one effective method is utilizing the Ampersand (&) operator. Follow these step-by-step instructions for seamless integration:

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Begin by opening your Google Sheets document and locating the cells containing the first and last names that you want to combine.

Step 2: Select the Target Cell Choose the cell where you want the combined name to appear. This is where the formula will be applied.

Step 3: Start the Formula Type the following formula in the selected cell: =A2&" "&B2 (assuming the first name is in cell A2 and the last name is in cell B2). This formula joins the first name, a space, and the last name.

Step 4: Apply the Formula Press Enter to apply the formula. The combined name will appear in the target cell.

Step 5: Copy the Formula Down If you have multiple rows of data, you can copy the formula down to the remaining cells in the destination column. Simply select the formula-filled cell, click and hold the bottom-right corner (the fill handle), and drag it down to the desired range.

By following these steps and using the Ampersand operator, you can effortlessly combine first and last names in Google Sheets, improving data organization and readability.

How to Combine First and Last Name with Space or Comma

Combining first and last names in Google Sheets offers flexibility, allowing you to use either the CONCATENATE function or the TEXTJOIN function. Follow these steps for each method:

Using the CONCATENATE Function

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Begin by opening your Google Sheets document and locating the cells containing the first and last names.

Step 2: Select the Target Cell Choose the cell where you want the combined name with a space. This is where the CONCATENATE formula will be applied.

Step 3: Start the Formula Type the following formula: =CONCATENATE(A2, " ", B2) (assuming the first name is in cell A2 and the last name is in cell B2). This formula combines the first and last names with a space in between.

Step 4: Apply the Formula Press Enter to apply the formula. The combined name with a space will appear in the target cell.

Using the TEXTJOIN Function

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Open your Google Sheets document and locate the cells with the first and last names.

Step 2: Select the Target Cell Choose the cell for the combined name using TEXTJOIN, where the formula will be applied.

Step 3: Start the Formula Type the following formula: =TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, A2, B2) (assuming the first name is in cell A2 and the last name is in cell B2). This formula joins the first and last names with a space in between.

Step 4: Apply the Formula Press Enter to apply the formula. The combined name with a space will appear in the target cell.

Additional Notes:

Both the CONCATENATE and TEXTJOIN functions can be copied down to consecutive cells to combine multiple rows of data. The TEXTJOIN function provides more flexibility in handling delimiters and empty cells.

Please note that the default behavior of the TEXTJOIN function is to ignore empty cells. If you want to include empty cells in the combined output, change the second argument of the function from TRUE to FALSE.Top of Form

How to Separate First and Last Name in Google Sheets

Separating first and last names in Google Sheets is a useful feature, especially when dealing with combined names in a single column. Follow these steps for a straightforward separation:

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Begin by opening your Google Sheets document and navigating to the sheet containing the combined names.

Step 2: Select the Column with Combined Names Identify the column containing the combined first and last names. Click on the column header to select the entire column.

Step 3: Go to Data > Split text to columns Navigate to the top menu, click on Data, and then select Split text to columns. This option allows you to separate the names based on a chosen delimiter.

Step 4: Choose Delimiter In the dialog box that appears, choose the delimiter that separates the first and last names. This could be a space, comma, or any other character depending on how the names are combined.

Step 5: Confirm and Finish Click on Split or Finish to execute the separation. Google Sheets will automatically split the combined names into separate columns.

By following these simple steps, you can efficiently separate combined first and last names in Google Sheets, enhancing data organization and facilitating further analysis.

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How to Sort by Last Name in Google Sheets

Sorting data by last name in Google Sheets can be crucial for better organization. Here's a step-by-step guide for arranging data by last name, whether it's in a different column or the same column as the first name:

Arrange by last name when it's different column from the first name:

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Start by opening your Google Sheets document containing the data you want to sort.

Step 2: Select the Data Range Choose the range of data you want to sort. Make sure to include both the first and last names columns.

Step 3: Go to Data > Sort Range Navigate to the top menu, click on Data, and then select Sort range.

Step 4: Choose Sort Column In the Sort Range dialog box, select the column containing last names as the sorting column. Ensure that the "Data has header row" option is selected if your data has headers.

Step 5: Confirm and Finish Click on Sort or Finish to execute the sorting. Google Sheets will rearrange the data based on the last names.

Arrange by last name when it’s same column with the first name:

Step 1: Open Google Sheets Begin by opening your Google Sheets document with the data that needs sorting.

Step 2: Select the Data Range Choose the range of data that includes both first and last names within the same column.

Step 3: Go to Data > Sort Range Navigate to the top menu, click on Data, and then select Sort range.

Step 4: Choose Sort Column In the Sort Range dialog box, select the column containing both first and last names. Ensure that the "Data has header row" option is selected.

Step 5: Custom Sort Order To sort specifically by last name, you can use a custom sort order. Click on "Add another sort column" and choose the last name column. Adjust the order as needed.

Step 6: Confirm and Finish Click on Sort or Finish to execute the sorting. Google Sheets will arrange the data based on the specified criteria.

Executing the sorting process is straightforward, especially with the intuitive interface of Google Sheets. Be mindful of selecting the correct columns and options for a seamless experience. The custom sort order feature is particularly useful for precise sorting based on last names. Overall, the guide provides a user-friendly approach to organizing data effectively.Top of Form

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FAQs

Why do you need to combine first and last name in a spreadsheet?

Combining first and last names in a spreadsheet enhances data organization, simplifies sorting and searching, and facilitates personalized communication, making it more efficient for tasks like managing contact lists.

How do I autofill names in Google Sheets?

Enter the first name, hover over the bottom right corner of the cell, drag down the handle to autofill based on the pattern, and review or adjust as needed. This streamlines data entry for repetitive patterns, saving time and reducing errors.

Why should I combine first and last names in a spreadsheet?

Combining first and last names in a spreadsheet enhances data clarity and presentation. It ensures a professional and organized appearance, making it easier to read and analyze information. This practice is particularly valuable in scenarios where individual names are stored in separate columns, streamlining data visualization and contributing to an overall more efficient and polished spreadsheet.

Summary

This guide walks you through simple steps to combine and separate first and last names in Google Sheets, ensuring easy and error-free data management. Notably, it underscores the value of WPS Office as a strong alternative, highlighting its features like free usage, compatibility with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, and advanced capabilities with WPS AI. Whether you're organizing data or exploring alternatives to traditional office software, this article provides practical insights for efficient tasks and introduces the benefits of using WPS Office for a smoother office experience.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.