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I have an Excel spreadsheet with 1600 rows of data. I need to create usernames from the first and last names of everyone in the list. I can manually go through and get the first letter of their first name and combine it with the last name to create one, but I am wondering if there is a way to automate it in Excel. I tried concatenate but it appears to be all or none as far as combining values goes. I am hoping there is someone that knows how to do this.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can nest functions in Excel, so try this, if the first name is in column A and the last name in column B:


The "LEFT" function gives you a certain number of characters from the left side of the cell you specify.

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Jenn, thank you so much. You saved me a ton of time. – fmz Feb 8 '13 at 22:48
the same thing as CONCATENATE is to write the formula =LEFT(A1,1)&B1 – datatoo Feb 8 '13 at 23:07
@datatoo -- cool! I didn't know about the ampersand operator. That'll save me some typing in the future. – Jenn D. Mar 12 '13 at 21:18

I suggest adding the "TRIM()" function to Jenn's answer to prevent unwanted spaces in your username, also just use the "&" instead of CONCATENATE =left(trim(A1),1) & trim(B1)

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Agree on the trim(); nothing wrong with being tidy. Make sure you do it around just the B1, though, not around the whole function; otherwise you could still end up with a space from in front of the first name. – Jenn D. Mar 12 '13 at 21:20

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