Merging Columns in Excel

I am cleaning up an Excel spreadsheet that holds the values for a morphology of twenty treasure legends collected in Louisiana. Building the table (and perhaps future matrix) has been an interesting exercise. As a giant table, I have constantly juggled with adding and subtracting various dimensions or components of the texts: examination of one text will spark a realization that something needs to be included and then, with that refinement, one needs to go back and double-check the other texts to see if the refinement applies to them as well. (It usually does.) As an Excel spreadsheet, it has the benefits of being faster to work with than a Word table, and that’s about it. (The person who invents the truly human-friendly spreadsheet will, I hope, make a decent sum of money — rather like Kevin Brown did with [Scrivener][].)

At the moment, I need to merge data that’s in two columns into a single column, as I realized that *go to* and *location()* were really one thing, what folklorists might call a *function* and what computer scientists might call a narrative *state*. Excel doesn’t make it easy, but here are notes on how to do this next time:

First, **merge the data** without doing disturbing it by *inserting a column* and then entering the following formula in the topmost cell:

=A1&” “&B1

If that gives you the results you want, *fill down.* While all the relevant cells are still selected, *copy* them and then *paste values*.

If you have a series of cells, then the syntax is `=A1&” “&B1&” “&C1` etc.


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