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combine columns

I need instructions on how to combine the contents of three(3) spreadsheet plain text columns in a google docs spreadsheet?

The columns contain content as follows.

Content Content Content

The output should be Content, Content (Content) all in one (1) column as opposed to three (3).
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1 Solution
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:

concatenate the contents of the columns with the & sign.

In column D, for example, with your three other columns being A, B and C

=A1&", "&B1&" ("&C1&")"

cheers, teylyn
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
see screenshot
rtod2Author Commented:
Wow.  Nice!

Lightbulb moment.  The quotations " " don't appear to follow a pattern?  What do they do?
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Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
They DO follow a pattern. They are text strings and the " signs delineate the beginning and the end of a text.

" " - a space
" (" - a space and an opening brace
")" - a closing brace

Maybe it gets clearer with some spaces:

=A1  &  ", "  &  B1  &  " ("  &  C1 &  ")"

(don't use the space version in the spreadsheet, though.
rtod2Author Commented:
I'm even more confused about when to use quotation marks but it makes perfect sense to me now why one would use an & sign.  

Thank you very much!

Your code worked a charm.
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
The & operator is used to concatenate text. Text in a formula must be wrapped in double quote signs.

Say we have three bits of text:


If they are stored in cells A1, A2 and A3, we can concatenate the texts by using


which will deliver


It is also possible to use a text string directly with the concatenation operator & in a formula.


See how the actual text is wrapped in double quotes. "Apple" and "Orange" and "Plum". Each text consists of an opening quote sign, the text itself and a closing quote sign.

Now, if we wanted to use a space between the words, we need a piece of text that consists of just a space.

" "

An opening quote sign, a space and a closing quote sign.

=A1 & " " & A2 & " " & A3

In the same way, we can have bits of text that consist of a space and a bracket.

" ("

Or text that is just one character, for example a closing bracket


When you read a formula and come upon a " sign, put your left thumb on it. Then read on and find the next " sign. Put your right thumb on it. Now everything between your thumbs is one continuous piece of text.

Make sure you have a screen cleaning kit handy.

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