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How to Combine Columns in Excel

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At times you may want to upload a list of contacts into Text Request.

Whether you're trying to get all of your existing contacts from a CRM into Text Request, or want to create a group of contacts who all meet a specific criteria, uploading a list is going to be much easier than manually adding every contact.

But your contact list has to be in a specific format - First and Last names need to be in the same column.

Upload Contact List

A lot of spreadsheets have First and Last names in separate columns, so this quick tips video (below) is going to show you how to merge those two Excel columns into one, which will let you quickly upload as many contacts as you want into Text Request.

There's also a transcript below the video.

Related: How to Import and Export Contacts

  • Formula: =FirstName&" "&LastName
  • Video Example: =C2&" "&D2
    • Result: =Carter Braxton

We're back with another quick tip. Today we're going to look at importing contacts. Specifically, how to combine two cells in Excel.

As you might know, Text Request only allows one field to be uploaded for a contact's name. If your CRM or customer database spits stuff out with First Name in one column and Last Name in another column, you need to combine those into one column.

Thankfully, it's really easy. I'm going to show you how.

If you open up Excel - I've already trimmed the spreadsheet down, so I only have phone number, first name, and last name.

We're going to insert a new column. You could also do it in an empty column. I'm just going to do it in this new column.

So, we're going to use a little formula. So we start with equals (=). And then we're going to select the First Name (C2), then ampersand (&). We're going to put a space (" "), because we want a space between the first name and the last name, and then another ampersand (&), and Last Name (D2).

The First Name and space and Last Name (=C2&" "&D2). Hit enter, and there it is!

Now, to fill out your spreadsheet, there are a few ways you can do this, but the easiest way is to just select the cell with the formula in it. Grab the corner, and drag it down to all the cells it needs to apply to.

It'll fill the series down, and you can see that they're all combined.

That was pretty simple. Now this is an important step.

  1. You need to highlight this whole column,
  2. And copy it.
  3. You're going to paste it in place, but you're going to right click and select "paste values only."

If you don't do this, then when you delete these other columns, you won't have anything left.

I'll show you - let's delete these columns (columns C and D). Now you get an error. That's no good. So I'm going to undo that.

Select "paste values only." Okay, now we can delete these columns (columns C and D), because we don't need them anymore. And there we go!

Now we're going to get rid of our headers here, because we can't upload those. We simply save this, and that's that!

We'll make sure to include the formula in the description of this video (see above), but remember that you might have to change out some of the cell names to make sure they correspond to how your spreadsheet is setup.

It's really easy, but if you ever need help, just reach out to us.

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