I have the following string in column H and I.


I want to have a auto-generated J column, which results like:


So I put the following formula in J1:

= ARRAYFORMULA (IF(ROW(J:J)=1;"formulaTest";CONCATENATE(H:H1, I:I1 ) ))

But the result I got is:


What is going wrong with my formula?


This is what you are looking for:

=ARRAYFORMULA((IF(ROW(J:J)=1,"formulaTest",H1:H & I1:I)))
  • 3
    Great! It finally works now!. Though I still don't know why I can not use "CONCATENATE", instead I need to use "&" in this formula. – srjohnhuang Jan 17 '14 at 6:53
  • 3
    @srjohnhuang With the CONCATNATE, the complete column range is fed to the ARRAYFORMULA. Using the ampersand, only the single entries are fed, giving you the desired result. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Jan 19 '14 at 12:01
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    The reason you can use & but not concatenate() is that concatenate can take a range whereas & can only join specific discreet values. – user72987 Jun 30 '14 at 18:50

In Google Sheets, the simplest solution is to just use CONCAT instead of CONCATENATE.


CONCAT will return only two values and can be used in this manner for an array formula. You cannot use CONCATENATE because (as mentioned by others) it will return the whole array.

  • 3
    Or even shorter, =arrayformula(H1:H & I1:I) – user135384 Jan 15 '18 at 5:52

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