How To Add Commas in Excel in 4 Simple Steps (Plus Tips)

Updated June 24, 2022

Commas are versatile punctuation marks that can separate items in a list, mark large numbers and organize information in other ways. Users may want to add commas to their Excel data to make it clear and understandable. If your job requires you to use Excel or you're trying to develop your computer skills, you may benefit from learning about this process. In this article, we provide steps for how to add commas in Excel, explain when you may want to use these marks and offer tips for completing this task.

When to add commas in Excel

If you want to add commas to a single cell or a small group of cells on your Excel spreadsheet, it's typically easy to do this manually. You can select the cell you want to edit and add a comma from your keyboard, just as you enter and edit data in cells normally. If, however, you want to add commas to a large group of cells, an entire column or an entire row, there are alternative methods that can make the process much quicker and easier than doing it manually.

Here are some situations in which it may be beneficial for you to use commas in Excel:

  • Names: If you have a list of names in your dataset, then you might want to separate them by columns. While you can type them individually, it might be beneficial to use a quicker method to add each comma.

  • Addresses: When writing addresses, you might use commas after the street name and after the city. If you have several addresses to add commas to, then you might consider using an alternative method to achieve this.

  • Dates: Depending on your profession, you might use dates to signify deadlines, deliverables or important events. When inserting dates into Excel, it might be valuable to use commas to make them easier to read.

Related: A Step-by-Step Guide for How To Divide in Excel

How to add commas in Excel

Here are four steps for how to add commas in Excel:

1. Open Excel and choose your workbook

Launch Excel on your device and choose the correct workbook. If you already have a dataset, then choose the workbook that contains the right information. If you'd like to start a new workbook, select a blank spreadsheet instead. After you create a new workbook, type or copy and paste your dataset into some blank cells. If you opened an old workbook, locate the sheet with the dataset in it.

2. Select a blank cell next to where you'd like to add a comma

After you add or locate your dataset, select a blank cell next to the cell that you'd like to add a comma. Ensure that the cell you select is adjacent to the cell where you'd like to insert the comma. This shows Excel where you'd like to add the punctuation. For example, if the first cell is A1, then you'd click on cell B1.

Related: Basic Excel Formulas and How To Use Them

3. Use a formula to insert a comma

Once you choose the adjacent cell, you can use an Excel formula to insert a comma. If your adjacent cell is B1 and the cell you'd like to add a comma to is A1, then you can type in the formula =A1&",". This tells Excel to copy the information from the cell you typed, which is A1, and paste it into the selected cell, which is B1. It also adds the comma to the end of the information you pasted. Select "Enter" on your keyboard to apply the formula.

4. Drag the fill handle to duplicate the comma

If you have multiple rows that require a comma, you can easily duplicate this formula with the drag handle. To use the fill handle, select the cell that has the comma in it. The fill handle is the small square that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the cell you selected. Click the square with your mouse and drag it to fill the remaining cells. The fill handle copies the formula in the original cell, which is how Excel adds a comma to each of the new cells.

Related: How To Use the Text Function in Excel in 5 Steps

Tips for adding commas in Excel

Here are some tips for adding commas in Excel:

Use the TEXTJOIN function

If you'd like to separate a range of cells with a comma, you can use the TEXTJOIN function in Excel. Using cells A1 through A4 as an example, the TEXTJOIN formula is =TEXTJOIN(",",TRUE,A1:A4). Here, you show that you'd like to add a comma by placing the punctuation in between quotation marks. "TRUE" indicates that you'd like to ignore any blank cells. Finally, you insert the range of cells you'd like to add commas to by separating the first and last cell of a range with a colon. Press "Enter" on your keyboard to apply the function.

Replace space with a comma

If you have a list of items in a cell, you can replace the separating spaces with commas by using the SUBSTITUTE function. This is a valuable function for organizing sets of data with commas, which makes the text more readable. The formula for this function is =SUBSTITUTE(A1," ", ","). In this formula, you're saying that in cell A1, you'd like to replace the spaces with commas. Type this function in a blank cell and press "Enter" on your keyboard to apply it.

Related: How To Auto-Populate Dates in Excel (With Tips and FAQ)

Use the "Numbers" section

If you're working with large numbers in Excel, you might want to separate some of the digits with a comma. To do this, you can add a thousands separator using the "Numbers" section. First, select the cells to which you'd like to add separator commas. Click on the "Home" tab in the toolbar and locate the "Numbers" section. Below the drop-down menu, there are a few options for adding symbols to your workbook. Click the comma icon to insert separator commas to the selected cells.

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