Concatenating column B values if left adjacent cell is empty

Copper Contributor

I need to combine cells in column B if the value in the cell to the left is blank while also deleting the blank cell to the left to close any gaps between cells in Column A. The best way for me to explain this is by showing an example. I need this:


Column A             Column B

Test                      This



Test2                    Also


Test3                    Please




To look like this


Column A                    Column B

Test                              This, That, Other

Test2                            Also, This

Test3                            Please, Help, Me



I am not quite sure how to word my question to search so I apologize if this has been asked many times! :)

39 Replies


If you want a formula to return your concatenated text and have Excel 2016 on Office 365 subscription (or Excel 2019), then you may copy down a TEXTJOIN formula:



It could be done with Power Query - query the date, fill down first column, group by it, add column with initial second column as list and extract it with separator



Thanks @Brad_Yundt  for your quick response here. I am trying this formula now. I am a novice when it comes to excel so I have a few questions.

I tried running that formula is column C and the return is #N/A. What do I need to change here?

Is column C the correct column?


Thanks in advance.

Thanks for responding so quickly @Sergei Baklan. I am pretty green when it comes to excel but have been working with it extensively in my new position. If you have the time, could you explain Power Query a bit more? I would like to know more about it from someone who has obviously used it.


Hi Jay,

there are a solution with help of the follwing macro:

Sub GroupData()
Dim lngRow As Long
Dim lngRowMax As Long
Dim lngz As Long
Dim lngzMax As Long

With Sheet1
.Range("G1:H1").Value = .Range("A1:B1").Value
lngz = 2
lngRowMax = .Range("B" & .Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Row

For lngRow = 2 To lngRowMax
If .Range("A" & lngRow).Value <> "" Then
.Range("G" & lngz).Value = .Range("A" & lngRow).Value
.Range("H" & lngz).Value = .Range("B" & lngRow).Value
lngz = lngz + 1
lngzMax = .Range("H" & .Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Row
.Range("H" & lngzMax).Value = .Range("H" & lngzMax).Value & "," & .Range("B" & lngRow).Value
End If

Next lngRow

End With

End Sub

Best regards


If you prefer a macro to concatenate, then consider:

Sub Sequelize()
Dim rg As Range, targ As Range
Dim delimiter As String, s As String
Dim i As Long, j As Long, n As Long

delimiter = ", "
Set rg = Range("A2").CurrentRegion
Set rg = rg.Offset(1, 0).Resize(rg.Rows.Count - 1, rg.Columns.Count)
n = rg.Rows.Count
j = 1
For i = n To 1 Step -1
    If rg.Cells(i, 1).Value <> "" Then
        rg.Rows(i + 1).Resize(j - 1).EntireRow.Delete
        If rg.Cells(i, 2).Value <> "" Then s = rg.Cells(i, 2).Value & delimiter & s
        If s <> "" Then rg.Cells(i, 2).Value = Left(s, Len(s) - Len(delimiter))
        j = 1
        s = ""
        j = j + 1
        If rg.Cells(i, 2).Value <> "" Then s = rg.Cells(i, 2).Value & delimiter & s
    End If
End Sub


The formula was assuming that you already had the column A values listed as in your initial post.


When you subsequently changed your question, I wrote a macro to do the new  request.


The attached workbook shows both the macro and the formula.

Thank you @Brad_Yundt. I am trying to test this now on my actual worksheet and the only problem I am having is that the sheet is 260,000 rows and my computer will freeze every time I try anything. 


Please post a small sample workbook showing your actual data layout.


I propose to use array transfer for speed, and want to get the code right the first time. I therefore need to know the layout, extent of data and complicating factors (merged cells, worksheet protection, adjacent columns that must not be deleted, blank rows, etc).




Power Query - you may start from Getting Started with Get & Transform in Excel ,it gives the main idea. Technology requires some time to invest, but you may start doing something practical from very first steps.


For this sample you may open the query (Data->Queries $ Connections, double click on query in the right pane) and check step by step what it's doing.

Going somewhat out on a limb here without a sample workbook to look at. I revised the code to use array transfer into VBA and back. It will run a lot faster as a result.

Sub Sequelize()
Dim rg As Range
Dim delimiter As String, s As String
Dim i As Long, k As Long, n As Long, nData As Long
Dim vData As Variant, vResults As Variant

delimiter = ", "
Set rg = Range("A2").CurrentRegion
Set rg = rg.Offset(1, 0).Resize(rg.Rows.Count - 1, rg.Columns.Count)
n = rg.Rows.Count
nData = Application.CountA(rg.Columns(1))
vData = rg.Value
ReDim vResults(1 To nData, 1 To 2)

For i = 1 To n
    If vData(i, 1) <> "" Then
        k = k + 1
        vResults(k, 1) = vData(i, 1)
        If s <> "" Then
            If i > 1 Then vResults(k - 1, 2) = s
        End If
        s = IIf(vData(i, 2) = "", "", vData(i, 2))
        If vData(i, 2) <> "" Then
            If s = "" Then
                s = vData(i, 2)
                s = s & delimiter & vData(i, 2)
            End If
        End If
    End If
If s <> "" Then vResults(k, 2) = s

rg.Resize(nData, 2).Value = vResults
End Sub

I apoligize for the delay in response here @Brad_Yundt. I was having trouble with my laptop because excel was crashing often. I will attach a very small sample of the data I am working with. I am basically looking at all the software/applications installed on all the servers in my domain. I want all the applications belonging to each server to be in one cell block and be separated by a comma.


ServerA           IE,Chrome,Windows Update, Intel driver, Edge, etc...


ServerB           Chrome, Nvidia GPU Driver, Edge, etc....



Rather than what it currently is


ServerA           IE


                       Windows Update

                        Intel driver




Server B           Chrome

                      Nvidia GPU Driver



I just bookmarked this. I will read it on my next break. Thank you Sergei.

My most recent macro is working on your test workbook. I installed the code, added a button to call it in the attached workbook so you may test. The duplicate data off to the right is so I can easily restore the original condition.



I just ran it on my actual worksheet and it deleted everything below row 1. I may not be executing this properly. I went to view macros, create, pasted in the macro from above, saved it, then ran that macro. I assume this is how I am supposed to do it but maybe I am incorrect. Also my actual worksheet has 260,000 rows of data but that shouldn't affect it, correct?


Here is the Power Query version. Applications are sorted alphabetically in the list.

I have never used Power Query. This is something I will have to research more as I haven't the slightest clue how to utilize it. I see it works beautifully. I will start my reading now.


Macro which Brad suggested works fine, but if you never used VBA it also takes time to learn how it works. VBA is much more universal, but, from my point of view, Power Query is more suitable for data transform tasks.


The macro assumes your data starts in row 2 and that header labels are in row 1. It further assumes that you have no blank lines in your data, and that there are only two columns of data.


Your question said that you wanted to start with two columns of data in columns A and B, then end up with two columns of compacted results in columns A and B. That's what the macro does.


The third from the last statement in the macro deletes the existing data (except header labels). The next to last statement puts the compacted results starting in cell A2. If you want them moved elsewhere, that statement is easily changed.


I made 6270 copies of your data, filling the sheet past row 260000 and ran the macro. It completed work in less than a second.