Take the work out of Excel's CONCATENATE Formula


Excel's CONCATENATE formula is widely used to combine the contents of multiple cells. However when dealing with a long range of cells, you need to spend quite a bit of time keying in the cells references and connectors. If you want to combine the contents of cells A1 through P1 it's necessary to enter:

=CONCATENATE(A1&" "&B1&" "&C1&" "&D1&" "&E1&" "&F1&" "&G1&" "&H1&" "&I1&" "&J1&" "&K1&" "&L1&" "&M1&" "&N1&" "&O1&" "&P1)

On a busy day, tedious little tasks like this will keep you in the office far longer into the night than you want to be. Excel does not allow a range of cells to be selected like this:

=CONCATENATE(A1:P1)

. . . this will just result in #VALUE! error.

Pearson Software Consulting has posted a Visual Basic code to its site which will allow this shortcoming to be overcome. See: http://www.cpearson.com/excel/stringconcatenation.aspx Press ALT + F11 and in Visual Basic right click on VBA project and insert the below code in new module. Save and close. Now you can simply type in:

=StringConcat(" ",A1:P1)

. . . and get the same result as the CONCATENATE formula which references each cell in the specificed range.

Function StringConcat(Sep As String, ParamArray Args()) As Variant

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' StringConcat

' By Chip Pearson, chip@cpearson.com, www.cpearson.com

' www.cpearson.com/Excel/stringconcatenation.aspx

' This function concatenates all the elements in the Args array,

' delimited by the Sep character, into a single string. This function

' can be used in an array formula. There is a VBA imposed limit that

' a string in a passed in array (e.g., calling this function from

' an array formula in a worksheet cell) must be less than 256 characters.

' See the comments at STRING TOO LONG HANDLING for details.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Dim S As String

Dim N As Long

Dim M As Long

Dim R As Range

Dim NumDims As Long

Dim LB As Long

Dim IsArrayAlloc As Boolean

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' If no parameters were passed in, return

' vbNullString.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If UBound(Args) - LBound(Args) + 1 = 0 Then

StringConcat = vbNullString

Exit Function

End If

For N = LBound(Args) To UBound(Args)

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' Loop through the Args

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If IsObject(Args(N)) = True Then

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' OBJECT

' If we have an object, ensure it

' it a Range. The Range object

' is the only type of object we'll

' work with. Anything else causes

' a #VALUE error.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If TypeOf Args(N) Is Excel.Range Then

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' If it is a Range, loop through the

' cells and create append the elements

' to the string S.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

For Each R In Args(N).Cells

If Len(R.Text) > 0 Then

S = S & R.Text & Sep

End If

Next R

Else

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' Unsupported object type. Return

' a #VALUE error.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

StringConcat = CVErr(xlErrValue)

Exit Function

End If

ElseIf IsArray(Args(N)) = True Then

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' ARRAY

' If Args(N) is an array, ensure it

' is an allocated array.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

IsArrayAlloc = (Not IsError(LBound(Args(N))) And _

(LBound(Args(N)) <= UBound(Args(N))))

If IsArrayAlloc = True Then

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' The array is allocated. Determine

' the number of dimensions of the

' array.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

NumDims = 1

On Error Resume Next

Err.Clear

NumDims = 1

Do Until Err.Number <> 0

LB = LBound(Args(N), NumDims)

If Err.Number = 0 Then

NumDims = NumDims + 1

Else

NumDims = NumDims - 1

End If

Loop

On Error GoTo 0

Err.Clear

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' The array must have either

' one or two dimensions. Greater

' that two caues a #VALUE error.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If NumDims > 2 Then

StringConcat = CVErr(xlErrValue)

Exit Function

End If

If NumDims = 1 Then

For M = LBound(Args(N)) To UBound(Args(N))

If Args(N)(M) <> vbNullString Then

S = S & Args(N)(M) & Sep

End If

Next M

Else

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' STRING TOO LONG HANDLING

' Here, the error handler must be set to either

' On Error GoTo ContinueLoop

' or

' On Error GoTo ErrH

' If you use ErrH, then any error, including

' a string too long error, will cause the function

' to return #VALUE and quit. If you use ContinueLoop,

' the problematic value is ignored and not included

' in the result, and the result is the concatenation

' of all non-error values in the input. This code is

' used in the case that an input string is longer than

' 255 characters.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

On Error GoTo ContinueLoop

'On Error GoTo ErrH

Err.Clear

For M = LBound(Args(N), 1) To UBound(Args(N), 1)

If Args(N)(M, 1) <> vbNullString Then

S = S & Args(N)(M, 1) & Sep

End If

Next M

Err.Clear

M = LBound(Args(N), 2)

If Err.Number = 0 Then

For M = LBound(Args(N), 2) To UBound(Args(N), 2)

If Args(N)(M, 2) <> vbNullString Then

S = S & Args(N)(M, 2) & Sep

End If

Next M

End If

On Error GoTo ErrH:

End If

Else

If Args(N) <> vbNullString Then

S = S & Args(N) & Sep

End If

End If

Else

On Error Resume Next

If Args(N) <> vbNullString Then

S = S & Args(N) & Sep

End If

On Error GoTo 0

End If

ContinueLoop:

Next N

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' Remove the trailing Sep

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If Len(Sep) > 0 Then

If Len(S) > 0 Then

S = Left(S, Len(S) - Len(Sep))

End If

End If

StringConcat = S

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' Success. Get out.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Exit Function

ErrH:

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

' Error. Return #VALUE

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

StringConcat = CVErr(xlErrValue)

End Function


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