Excel: Combine text and formulas in a cell

Whenever I analyze data in Excel, I format the spreadsheet to make it easier to read. A little attention to fonts, boxes and shading can help people understand the key data faster.

One way to give yourself some flexibility with formatting is to combine text and the results of a formula in a single cell. Just use the “&” operator to concatenate the text and the formula.

Consider this formula:

="Quantity: "&SUM(A1:A20)

Enter it into a cell, press enter and (assuming you have numeric values in cells A1 through A20) it will present this result in a single cell:

Quantity: 23

That kind of output’s pretty handy when you want to create a worksheet in your spreadsheet that aggregates data from other sheets while keeping the formatting simple.

68 responses to “Excel: Combine text and formulas in a cell”

  1. -L says:

    Now that I know concatentate is a real word, I will not bother playing editor. Other than that, I like the techie color and feel. It’s good all around.

  2. Janna says:

    But how do you add a format to the number returned? For example, if instead of 23 my total was 5342.16, how can I add a dollar sign and comma to make it show $5,342.16?

  3. Anthony says:


    Good question. Adding the dollar sign is pretty easy:

    ="Quantity: "&"$"&SUM(A1:A20)

    Not sure how to format the number, though, to add a comma.

  4. George says:

    How to I create :

    Date: 9/4/2013

    using text “date” and “=TODAY()”


  5. Anthony says:


    Try this:

    ="Date: "& TEXT(TODAY(), "mm/dd/yyyy")

    Credit to: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6336518/concatenating-date-with-a-string-in-excel

  6. George says:

    That’s what I had already tried and it just gives me #NAME?
    I managed to find =CONCATENATE(“DATE: “, TEXT(TODAY(),”dd-mmm-yyyy”)) works.


  7. Matt says:


    You could use:

    ="Quantity: "&TEXT(A1,"$0,000.00")

    This will convert your number into text and format it to look the way you want. More about the TEXT function can be found in the help.

  8. Matt says:


    Sorry that formula should have read:

    ="Quantity: "&TEXT(SUM(A1:A20),"$0,000.00")
  9. Kim says:


    I’m trying to put a due date in a cell based on a date in another cell minus 28 days.

    I tried =”Due: “&(K234-28) where K234 is a date of 11/3/2013. I keep getting Due: 41547 as the result. It seems like it’s a formatting issue???

    Thank you!!!

  10. Anthony says:


    Some of the other comments in this thread hint at the answer:

    ="Due: "&TEXT((K234-28), "mm/dd/yyyy")
  11. Gavin says:

    I have a spread sheet with over 1000 client names. One cell has the full name and one cell will say male or female. Is it possible for a third column to combine this information and say Mr. John Doe? so something like this

    Mr. John Doe John Doe Male

    Because there is so many however, I’m trying to have the first cell populated via formula. If this is not possible how do I manually put Mr. and then a formula to pull in the full name?


  12. Anthony says:


    You can concatenate cells using the & character in a formula. You can also explore using the IF function to read the Male/Female cell and populate another cell with Mr. or Ms. based on the value.

  13. Johannes says:

    Hello Anthony!

    Thank you for a great post. How do I:
    *Choose numbers of decimals
    *Add percentage sign
    *Enters text also behind the formula.

    If the formula gives the answer 62,408543957.

    Text here 62,41% and text here.


  14. PAt says:


    Use the

    =ROUND(62,408543957; 2)


  15. paul says:

    Hi Anthony,

    is it possible to use excel to provide data within a sentence in an excel sheet?
    I have the following statement:
    The Promotors and existing Investors have invested £11,2 million (€13,1 million) in the project already and are seeking to raise an additional £16,0 million (€18,7 million).

    I am trying to link the monetary values to cells on another page of the worksheet so that as I change parameters, the investment values change. At the moment I have to amend the values manually. Thanks in anticipation.

  16. janil says:

    thank you so much.. 🙂

  17. Bobby says:


    I am trying to use a drop down list as input into a formula. For example, the drop down is in A1 of the current selected tab and it contains the names of tabs in my workbook. For now the drop down in A1 is set to Phase 0. What I want is for a formula to read the value of tab Phase 0’s cell A1. In cell A2 I have =’A1′!A1. Cell A2 throws a #ref error. If I type ‘Phase 0’!A1, the value I want from tab Phase 0 cell A1 comes up of course. What am I missing?

    Need your help please


  18. Bobby says:

    I just solved this with the indirect() function in excel…

  19. mh says:

    Alternative (IMHO easier/cleaner) way):

    Right-click/Format Cells/Number –> select ‘Custom Category’
    In the ‘Type:’ field, enter: “Quantity: “0
    Click ‘OK’
    Now in that cell, write ’23’.

    Cell will display: “Quantity: 23”
    Now copy/paste that format to the desired cells, or just select that format from the drop down menu next time.

  20. Roland says:

    Matt, thanks for solving Janna’s problem. That formula works perfectly.


  21. GREG says:


    I want to put in a cell like this:

    Avg Fabrication MH per ton = 100 MH x 7000 Ton.

    100 and 7000 are situated in different cells

    So I tried so far: =”AVG FABRICATION MANHOURS PER TON = “&ROUND(‘[E0418 SUMMARY.xlsx]Super-Structure’!$I$41,1)

    So it displays : AVG FABRICATION MANHOURS PER TON = 100
    but how to put the rest..
    Please help

  22. Bsteady says:

    Is it possible to join to lots of texts for example,
    =A2 & “Panels @” B2 & “m”?????

    Your help correcting this formula would be much appreciated.



  23. talha says:

    i want to add a number in a cell which contains a text. For Example, a cell contains “P/1” then how to get “P/2” in next cell and so on.

    Thanks in advance

  24. Jack says:

    Can u please rectified the said formula.

    “After TDS(10%) actual Amount received “&(ROUND(AP16,0),(AK16-(AK16*10)%))

    Jack V.

  25. ZJYB says:

    01/21/2015 at 3:30 pm
    i want to add a number in a cell which contains a text. For Example, a cell contains “P/1″ then how to get “P/2″ in next cell and so on.

    Thanks in advance


    I have had the same problem before, and used a relative reference to the row number to “add a number” to the next cell.

    If your first row has “P/1”, your next cell can contain the formula:


    This will produce “P/2” if the formula is place somewhere in the second row, “P/3” if placed somewhere in the third row, etc. This formula can then be filled down to add a number to each subsequent row.

    You can also add numbers within the formula to start at a desired number rather than the actual row number. For instance, =”P/”$row()+999 will result in “P/1000” if placed in the first row, “P/1001” if placed in the second row, etc. Again, this formula can then be filled down to add a number to each subsequent row.

    Hope this helps.

  26. Lauren says:

    Is there any way to have a formula extrapolate only the numerical value from a cell? I have a large spreadsheet with electrical numbers that include a watts (W) identification, is there some way to have a sum formula still tabulate the cells and simply ignore the letter?

  27. DJ says:

    Thanks! I’ve been fighting this for weeks

  28. Geet says:


  29. Jegs says:
    =UPPER('Your Final output with Formula'!A2)&", "&PROPER('Your Final output with Formula'!B2)&" "&LEFT('Your Final output with Formula'!C2,1))&".

    whats wrong about this formula ?

  30. hussam abdulalim says:

    i input:

    ="WEEKLY AVAILABILITY REPORT from  "&TEXT(H7, "[$-409]d mmmm;@")&" to "&TEXT(H13, "[$-409]d mmmm;@")

    to get this text:
    WEEKLY AVAILABILITY REPORT from 15 July to 21 July

    provided that H7= 15/7/2015 and H13= 21/7/2015

    H13 value is provided by another formula and H7 is the variable that i input manually

  31. Janet says:

    I have the following in a merged and centered cell (like a heading). Can I create a link to a separate tab in the workbook to provide the date (ie, August 31, 2015, in this case)? I have many places where dates need to be updated monthly and quarterly and it is manual and time consuming.

    Combined Consolidated Rolling 12 Month Statement of Operations
    For the Twelve Months Ending August 31, 2015 – LENDER VERSION

  32. Anthony says:


    Sure. You could set up a worksheet (tab) in your spreadsheet. Call it date or something similar, and enter the date in one of the cells. Then you could refer to that worksheet and cell from all the other locations in the file that need that date. Update the date once and it spreads across the whole thing. Handy!

    The way to access another sheet is referencing it by name. e.g.:


    To combine dates into text requires a little extra formatting:

    ="The date is "&TEXT(date!A1,"mm/dd/yyyy")&" for this report."
  33. Janet says:

    Yes, I have those references working. I’m having trouble with the titles that are currently in a cell with multiple lines wrapped and centered. I was wondering if I had to break into multiple rows to get a formula to work. I am using a separate “dates” tab within the workbook. Thanks for your help!

  34. Ted says:

    LAUREN……Use the FIND & REPLACE function [Cntrl+H] to get rid of the “W”in your spreadsheet then you can use SUM function to sum the values

  35. Ted says:

    LAUREN……To be more explicit, select the range of cells you want to remove the “W” from the cell. Press Cntrl+H to bring up the FIND&REPLACE function. Put “W” (no quotes) in the FIND field and leave the REPLACE field blank. This will remove the “W” from all fields you have select

  36. Lisa says:

    how to do solve this?
    Data what I want it to be
    excel #2003 myexcel#2003
    #add in “my” then replace ” #” to “#”
    pls help thanks

  37. Dewy says:

    Can anyone tell me how to use a number in a cell as part of a formula. I have two cells that different numbers will be input to. One number references the sheet, the other a cell number in that sheet. example: cell B5 has the number 1 in it. cell C5 has 101 in it. I tried =’C5′!&A’B5′ since I want to reference cell A1 in sheet 101, but I know I’m way off track. Any help?

  38. Dewy says:

    This generated the correct cell but doesn’t actually reference it.

  39. TED says:

    Dewey, you were on the right track……now, in another cell use the INDIRECT formula to convert the text value to a recognizable cell reference. If the output of your first formula was in cell D5, then in another cell, let’s say E5, write =INDIRECT(D5)

  40. Dewey says:

    Thanks! The INDIRECT function worked perfect.

  41. KB says:

    How would I state:

    There are 20 widgets in the box.

    Cell B5 has the quantity of widgets.

    Something like:
    =”There are “&=($B$5)”widgets in the box.”

  42. Anthony says:


    You’re close. Try:

    ="There are "&B5&" widgets in the box."
  43. CL says:

    Hi Anthony.

    I am trying to make a ratio with actual raw data as a fraction of 2 separate cells without the fraction being reduced.

    Example: Cell G7 contains a formula yielding the value 8. And cell F7 contains a formula yielding the value 16. In H7, I want to put these 2 data points in a fraction (or a ratio would also work) of 8/16 without reducing that fraction. Any way to do this?

  44. Anthony says:



  45. CL says:

    credit to:
    Bernie Deitrick, Excel MVP 2000-2010

    You have to use helper cells.

    Enter the number correct in, say, cell E2. In F2, enter the number of questions, and in G2, enter the formula =E2/F2. In H2, enter the formula = E2 & “/” & F2

    Use G2 for calculations, and H2 for display.



  46. CL says:

    just saw your reply too. thanks anthony!

  47. Sheri says:

    Is there a clean way to have the choice in the same cell to either use % or $ and have it formulate in a later cell? Could a drop down be used? Also must function within online OneDrive.

  48. Johnny says:

    Trying to sum a range with text and numbers. Cells contain 8,W. How can add just the numeric part of the cell?


  49. Anthony says:


    Suggest you use the “Text to Columns” command to separate the cell contents into two cells — one for the number and the other for text.

  50. Lloyd says:

    Hi all,

    I would like to create a label or text name for a cell that has a value i.e.

    1250 = ItalianCotton
    2500 = ItalianCanvas
    355 = ItalianLinen

    So that when I select from my drop-down list, the name displays that the cell is assigned however is able to allow calculation of the value of the cell for my formula:

  51. James Markarian says:

    Hello!! I’m working on a file where I will have positive and negative numbers in columns A and B like is shown below, with those columns being calculated from various cells. I want to add an X in front of the column A values and a Y to the column B values as I want to then copy and paste the values into another file (writing simple G code for a CNC mill).

           Col A    Col B   Col C   Col D
    Row 1  3.150   -1.500	X3.15	Y-1.5 

    If I select cell A1 and choose Format Cell/Number/Custom and use “X”0.000 and then “Y”0.000 for cell B1, then they will appear as X3.150 and -Y1.500. The issue is, that I need to have the negative value appear as Y-1.500 instead of -Y1.500. I ended up copying the values in colA and colB to create colC and colD, and then for colD set it to =”Y”&A1 or =CONCATENATE(“Y”,I3), and that fixes the issue so the – sign will be after the Y (which is what I want), but it just lists the number to two digits (drops off the zeroes) instead of the three digits that I’d like. If I get by without needing the extra columns (like colC and colD above),then that would be great, but I need to have the negative values appear as say X-3.452 and Y-1.500 instead of having the negative sign go before the X and Y letters. Thanks!!!! – Jim

  52. Anthony says:


    What if you cast the number to text before concatenating? i.e.,

  53. James Markarian says:

    Anthony – I got it to work, but if I did as you mentioned using =”Y”&TEXT(B1,”0.000″), then for a value of -1.500 is shows #Name? with format set to general. Anyway, what I ended up doing, was to set a column with the cell set to =TEXT(B1,”0.000″) to switch it to text but to keep the number displayed to three digits, and then added another column with the cell set to =”Y”&B1. I then hid the columns that had the =TEXT(B1,”0.000″) so they would be present but wouldn’t clutter what was displayed. It worked great, so for a Y value of -1.500, the last column would read Y-1.500 with that Y-1.500 being text that I could then copy to a notepad file. It was an interesting project for me as I have always used relative cell references, but I just learned about using absolute references, so that should help me in the future as well. Thanks, and great blog!! – Jim

  54. Anthony says:


    Glad you got it sorted out!


  55. dennis says:

    Hi Anthony,

    Please help me sort out my things. Since I work in warehouse, I extract daily stock on hand of items from system and paste them under today()column in excel sheet1.
    item 27-May-16(today)
    imported apple 20 ctns

    In sheet2, I have table with dates of 7 days.

    27-May-16 ………….1-Jun-16
    apple 20 ……

    Based on date while pasting stock on hand in sheet1, I want the SOH to appear under respective date of sheet2.I’ve been long seeking to sort this out. You are requested to help me!

    Many thanks,

  56. Ted says:

    Dennis, if I understand you correctly, you have a SINGLE worksheet “TODAY” that you use for the daily SOH tally that you want to feed to another worksheet, “WEEKLY” which would accumulate totals for the week. Getting it to feed to “WEEKLY” is no problem, but because you are using formulas and variables, you cannot retain the data from Monday when you input data on Tuesday. There are a few workarounds however, that could solve your dilemma. Probably the easiest way would be to add additional daily input worksheets (7-total)and then have them feed to the “WEEKLY” accumulated total worksheet based upon the day of the week. Other options include converting the results in the WEEKLY worksheet from formulas to fixed values at THE END OF EACH DAY (copy the results, paste special, paste as values). The other option is to use a database program like MS-ACCESS.

  57. Jen says:

    Thank you so much! I needed a formula to add text in front of and after a formula. The formula populates the URL’s from one column to another, I needed to add text in my second column for tags. If anyone needs the formula here it is. Make sure you close out the text with “”. It worked. I have been searching for weeks. I have to repeat URLS in my Tags columns, this makes it efficient.

  58. Jen says:

    Sorry. It will return this, as I have thousands of URLS from Column C that need to be in Column D, along with my tags.


    Paste the formula down the entire column of D and it will populate each individual URL from C, along with text.

  59. Anthony says:

    Hi, Jen,

    Glad it was helpful. It’s cool to see how you built that comma-separated list with the formula. Great work!

  60. Jen says:

    Thanks Anthony! I’m not the greatest with Excel. You put it in terms that I could understand.

  61. Steve G says:

    Need to translate Equations by formula/function/Spiffy Hack

    78*15*14*(50/3)	     =+INDIRECT($C$100)	     #REF!
    	             =+$C$100*1	             #VALUE!
    	             =+numbervalue($C$100)   #NAME?

    If you copy, edit, add “=” at the beginning then Press Enter
    This is the result
    273000 Which is what I want to get
    Needs to be able to get the result automatically- too many to do manually

  62. Alex says:

    How can i get “00000012345” such number in a cell, as a entry not with formula,
    because excel will not sence “000000”.

  63. Ted says:


    You would need to format the cell to be a text value instead of GENERAL or NUMBER.

  64. Danny says:

    Hi Anthony

    When you add text to a formula, do other formulas within the spreadsheet using the cell with text, i.e. the one described above, not recognise the number part? I’m sure it should but don’t know how to Google this.

    For example, the problem I have is I have a series of cells with this formula:

    ="Total Day Duration ST 1 Fire Assist = "&SUM(B115:B121)

    Using the above, the result for this individual cell shows:

    Total Day Duration ST 1 Fire Assist = 14.

    (for ease of clarification I’ll call this cell B114)

    However, if I then try to use cell B114 in another formula the number 14 isn’t recognised. Eg =”Total of Number of days = “&SUM(B114,B152)

    If I remove the text (so you’d have =SUM(B115:B121) from the cell above the number 14 in the referred to formula is recognised. Is the text causing a problem?

    Hope I’ve explained this OK. Sorry if this is really basic.


  65. Anthony says:


    That’s right. When you concatenate text and some number in a cell, you can no longer perform a calculation using that cell.

  66. Lusya says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I have a complicated imagination. I have 1 calculation from 2 data and the result comes in 1 cell (calculating days with DAYS360). Then I already set a conditional format on it, based on the result. Now, I want to make if there no data from the first calculation (either one), then it shows a “N/A”.
    Could you please help me with this?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  67. Ted says:

    Danny, if you want to use the calculated value as both a “text” value and a “numerical” value, you will need to utilize a second cell. One cell(A3)will have the numerical value for additional calculations. In the other cell (B3), you would utilize the TEXT function to convert the numerical value to a text value so that you can combine that text value with additional text to make it display whatever message you want. That text could be hard-coded in the cell (B3) or come from a different cell (C3). And the cell (C3) could be conditionally formatted to generate different messages based upon some other cell.

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