Combine Excel tables based on common headers

The Combine Worksheets wizard joins multiple spreadsheets into a single large table and places records according to their headers. It doesn't matter whether the tables structured identically or differently. You can pick out the columns you want to merge if needed, so that unnecessary data are not copied to a new file.
Merge data from columns with the same name even if their order is not identical.

Video: How to combine Excel sheets without copying and pasting

Before you start

Since the add-in processes table columns, all sheets you want to join must have headers.

If there are filtered, grouped, or hidden cells in your tables, they will be ignored.

How to use the Combine Sheets wizard

Start Combine Sheets

To run the add-in, click the Combine Sheets icon on the Ablebits Data tab in the Merge group:
Combine Sheets icon on the Excel's ribbon.

Step 1: Select worksheets and ranges to join

Here you can see all the files that are currently open in Excel. You can pick out the worksheets you would like to join by ticking off the checkboxes next to their names:
Choose worksheets and ranges to combine.

Tip. If you have a long list of spreadsheets, take advantage of the checkbox next to the Worksheets column at the top of the list. It lets you instantly select and deselect all items.

The add-in automatically pulls all data from the chosen worksheets. To change the highlighted area, select the sheet name in the list and click on the Select range icon under the Ranges column. It will open this sheet, and you will see a dialog box that allows you to pick the necessary cells:
A dialogue window for you to pick the needed data range.

The buttons at the bottom of the wizard's window will also help you deal with a big number of files:

  • Collapse all / Expand all - quickly hide or show all sheets in each workbook.
  • Exclude - remove the selected workbooks from the add-in window.
  • Add files... - include the files that are not open in Excel.
Note. If you want to combine data from all columns, untick Select columns on the next step to skip it.

Click Next to go to Step 2.

Step 2: Choose the columns to merge

The columns you choose on this step will be joined together based on their headers and placed to a new location.

Note. You will not get this window if you unticked the checkbox Select columns on the next step earlier.

Select the columns to combine.

Here you can see a list of column headers from all the selected worksheets and the total number of times a given label occurs in the tables. E.g. if you choose 5 files and each has a column named "Fruit", you will see 5 in the Number of occurrences field for this column.

To exclude some records from the results, unselect the column in the list.

If you want to combine data from all columns, keep all the checkboxes ticked off.

Tip. Select or deselect all columns at once by checking the box next to the Columns header.

Click Next to continue.

Or click Back to return to a previous step and delete, add, or pick out other worksheets.

Step 3: Specify how to paste records

This step lets you define the way to copy and paste records to the merged columns:
Select additional options to combine your data.

Define pasting options

  • Paste all. If the copied ranges contain formulas, they will be pasted along with the values.
  • Paste values only. This option will replace formulas with their calculated values in the resulting table.
  • Create links to source data. Select this radio button if you want the results to update automatically when the data in the source table changes.

Adjust resulting formatting

  • Preserve formatting. Tick off this checkbox to apply the original cell format and the styles of the copied ranges to the result.
  • Separate the copied ranges by a blank row. See the borderline between the pasted ranges by adding an empty row between them.

Press Next to proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Decide where to place the result

Select the destination for the combined data from one of the following options:
Select the destination for the combined data.

  • Pick New workbook to create a new Excel file with the result.
  • Select New worksheet to add a resulting sheet to the current open workbook.
  • Or choose a position on one of the existing sheets manually by picking Custom location. One click on the Select range icon will open a dialogue window so you could choose the top left cell for the result.

Click Combine and get the data from the same columns merged into one Excel table.

Responses

Kevin Shiflett says:
February 3, 2019 at 2:00 am

I have a large amount of worksheets to combine. When I use the software it prematurely opens the combined results, which only contains about half of the sheets.

Reply

Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your comment.
The problem may be in Excel limitations.
The questions are: how many books you are trying to combine? And how many rows and columns does each book have? And where do you pick to place the results: to a new worksheet or to a new book?
Our products do not impose any additional limitations, so the number of rows and columns in the resulting table is defined by the version of Excel you have, please find them here.
If this is not the case, please contact us at support@ablebits.com and we will help you asap.

Reply

Hi there! This is going to save me so much work. Thank you.
Is there a way to preserve formatting of the destination sheet like borders and fixed columns?

Many thanks

ps referring to the "Combine sheets"

Reply

Hi Diana!
Thank you so much for your kind feedback, we appreciate it a lot.
Unfortunately, the add-in does not preserve formatting. The thing is that this feature would significantly slow down the combing process, so we’ve chosen speed instead of formatting. However, we are trying to find a way to implement it without losses in the add-in’s performance. So we are working on it 🙂

Thank you.

Reply

Hi,

I combined a bunch of sheets but the total number of rows is not as many as expected. I think there may be a command to ignore duplicates? How do I make sure that the duplicates are included as they are the same but are not duplicates.

Thanks

Reply

Hi Ben,
Thank you for contacting us.

Since our Combine Worksheets preserves duplicates while joining your sheets, we need to know some more details to understand the problem you faced better. Please check your Inbox and provide us with the requested information.

Thank you.

Reply
Anne Marie Dube says:
July 23, 2019 at 3:10 pm

One I have combined different tabs to one MASTER tab, how can I update (or refresh) the MASTER tab if I add a row to one of the tabs that it is linked to?

Reply

Thank you for your question, Anne Marie.

I’m afraid there’s no way to refresh the data automatically at the moment. You need to run the add-on each time you want to combine sheets.

Reply

I have two sheets I need to combine. Both sheets have a column that is a row identifier. The rows are not exactly the same in both sheets. I need to combine the sheets but need to match according to the row identifier.

for example:
sheet one sheet two
bhid barcode color bhid barcode color
1234 neo2342 black 1234 neo2342 black
4564 neo4876 red 6578 neo6543 yellow
5648 neo9999 red 5648 neo9999 red

Reply

Hello,

Thank you for contacting us.

It looks like our Combine Sheets add-in works the way you need. It can merge your data from several worksheets into one based on the headers. The add-in is available as a part of our Ultimate Suite that contains 60+ tools to simplify your work in Excel. You can install it in a trial mode to make sure Combine Sheets and other add-ins work for you: https://www.ablebits.com/files/get.php?addin=xl-suite

If this is not exactly what you're looking for, please send us a small sample workbook with your source data and the result you expect to get to support@ablebits.com. Just about 10-20 rows will be enough. We'll look into your task and try to find the best tool to solve it.

Reply

Hello,

Is there a way to know where the data came from? For example to include a file path

Thank you

Reply

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