Thursday, October 29, 2015

Outlook and Excel

The topic of Concatenation came up in one of my live Excel classes this week and, considering how cool and useful it can be, I am addressing it in this week’s post.

Whether they are employees, clients, or vendors, Lists of Names of people are often kept in Excel. The format may vary, of course, but often the First Name and Last Name are contained in separate fields (which is how it should be…).  There are times, of course, when you may want to send an email via Outlook to a group of folks that you have in one of these Excel databases.

Outlook, as well as some other email systems, requires that the names be entered in a Last Name/Comma/First Name format. So what do you do if that is Not the way your Excel list is arranged?  Here is where Concatenation becomes useful!

Let’s say you have a list of employees with the First Names in column A and Last Names in column B. Combining them into an Email-Friendly column of names in a “Last Name, First Name” format is (as you will see) incredibly easy.

Let’s assume your table starts in cell A1. Using the convenience of Concatenation by putting the following formula in C1:

=B1&", "&A1

Notice: Be sure to use the quotation marks and insert a space after the comma.  This provides the syntax that Outlook will immediately recognize.  This formula combines the contents of B1 (last name) with a comma, space, and contents of A1 (first name). Drag the formula down to fill Column C, and then copy and paste it into Outlook (any version from 2007 on…).

Outlook will very quickly recognize anyone in your address book and those to whom you’ve sent emails previous.  Happy Halloween All!

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