3 Ways To Fix Excel Textjoin Function Not Working Issue

Facing difficulty to use the TEXTJOIN Function in Excel 2016? Looking for some quick fixes to solve TEXTJOIN function in Excel 2016 not working Issue?

This post will help to get complete detail regarding Excel TEXTJOIN function. Moreover, I will also share some best solutions to fix TEXTJOIN function in Excel 2016 not working.

Before directly getting into the fixes to resolve Excel TEXTJOIN function not working issue. Let’s explore more information about this specific Excel issue.

User’s Experience:

Following here is the user experiences that help you to know, under what circumstances this problem usually arises.

I have two tables, the first table contains Group name in column A, the task for this group in column B, and comments for each task in column C.

Now i have to get all these comments for each task to show up in one cell for the appropriate group in the second table. I used TEXTJOIN function:

=TEXTJOIN(“,  “;TRUE;IF(A2:A12=E2;C2:C12;””))

However, it joined all comments into the first cell all for the first group. What is wrong in my function?

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/54887775/why-TEXTJOIN-function-in-excel-doesnt-work-correctly

What Is The TEXTJOIN Function In Excel?

Microsoft Excel 2016 has come up with 6 new functions out of which one function is ‘TEXTJOIN’.

Before the arrival of TEXTJOIN function for joining any text strings from cell ranges in Excel, we need to choose each individual cell present in that range.

Or alternatively, you can create a custom function, for which you need to highly skilled.

Luckily, with the use of this TEXTJOIN function, this entire task gets much simplified now.

One big advantage of using ‘TEXTJOIN’ function is that it allows you to choose cell ranges instead of individual cell references.

All in all, it’s quite a useful productivity-booster…!

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What Is The Function Of TEXTJOIN Function In Excel?

The main function of Excel TEXTJOIN function is to merge text strings of multiple ranges or cells. After then separate all the combined values using any delimiter which you specify.

This function can include or ignore empty cells in the output.

Mainly this Excel TEXTJOIN function is available for Excel 2019 and Office 365.

Following here is the Syntax of TEXTJOIN function:

TEXTJOIN(delimiter, ignore_empty, text1, [text2], …)

Let’s understand this Excel function more clearly with an example:

Function Of TEXTJOIN Function In Excel

In the given figure you can see that strings of each cell are separated with the assigned delimiter i.e a space character (” “).

Moreover, you can make use of the special character either by using the CHAR function or by using more than one character.

What Are The Limitations Of Using TEXTJOIN Function In Excel?

Behind the occurrence of TEXTJOIN function in Excel 2016 not working problem following reasons are responsible.

  • If your TEXTJOIN function crosses the limit of 32,767 characters then it will return the ‘#VALUE!’ error.
  • ‘#VALUE!’ error also comes when your Excel application fails to identify the delimiter as text.
  • For example, if you assign non-printable characters like CHAR(0).
  • This TEXTJOIN function has a limit of 252 text arguments.
  • Its alternative function is CONCAT. The only difference between these two functions is that CONCAT doesn’t accept delimiter whereas TEXTJOIN accepts delimiter.
  • #NAME? error usually occurs when you are trying to use this function in an older Excel version.
  • In between the combining strings if you forget to give a common then #NULL! error occurs.

How To Fix  Excel TEXTJOIN Function Not Working Issue?

Method 1# Use Alternative Of TEXTJOIN Function

If your Excel TEXTJOIN Function is Not Working but you need to urgently use it then in that case you can use the alternative option i.e CONCAT function.

This function offers you the same features as CONCATENATE. It is enabled to minimize the function name length and its arguments.

Though the CONCAT function is the replacement of CONCATENATE. It is available in all the latest Excel/ Office applications to give compatibility in entire previous versions.

Here is the syntax is explained below:

CONCAT(text1, [text2],…)


You need to specify the text range or entry of cells joined.


In this, you need to assign ranges to merge texts when the range is not continuous.


This option is also available on Mac or Windows if you are an Office 2019 user or if you have taken the Office 365 subscription.


Below the given figure below will help you to get a clear idea of how CONCAT function actually works in merging all strings in the allotted cell references.

You don’t need to choose each cell individually. Specifying the range will allow the function to merge the strings without using any kind of separators

If in case you need to put the separators, then this CONCAT function works exactly in the same way as the older CONCATENATE function works.

Just check out the first and second two rows in the below-given figure:

Excel CONCAT Function

Method 2# Join Text With Conditions

Excel TEXTJOIN function has the ability to easily handle arrays of strings. So you can also use it for conditionally merging two or more cell contents.

To do this, you need to use the IF function for evaluating the cell ranges. Also for returning the array of values that match the condition with the TEXTJOIN’s text1 argument.

From the shown figure if you are willing to extract the list of Team 1 members. In that case, you need to nest the IF statement into text1 argument:

IF($B$2:$B$9=1, $A$2:$A$9, “”)

In simple meaning, the above formula states that: if column B = 1 then returns the value from column A of the same row. Or else just return the empty string.

The entire formula for Team 1 then will be in this way:

=TEXTJOIN(“, “, TRUE, IF($B$2:$B$9=1, $A$2:$A$9, “”))

In the same manner, you can easily get comma-separated list of Team 2 member:

=TEXTJOIN(“, “, TRUE, IF($B$2:$B$9=2, $A$2:$A$9, “”))

Join text with conditions


As the feature of the dynamic array is well implemented in the latest version of Office 365. So it works just like a regular formula as shown in the figure.

Whereas, In Excel 2019 you have to type the traditional array formula along with that don’t forget to keep press the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

Method 3# Convert Column To Comma Separated List

You must try concatenating the vertical list and separating its value with a semicolon, comma, or any other delimiter.

For e.g suppose you are concatenating losses or wins of each team from the given table. For this, you need to use the following formula in which the only difference is in the cell ranges that are being joined.

For the Team 1:


For the Team 2:


And so on.

In all the above-given formulas, the following arguments are been used:

  • Delimiter– a comma (“,”).
  • For including the empty cell, Ignore_empty must be set to FALSE. As here we require to show which games are not played.

Thus as the output, you will get the 4 comma-separated lists which represent the losses and win score of each team in the compact form:

Convert column to comma separated list

Wrap Up:

TEXTJOIN function is a very enhanced feature of Excel which offers the flexibility of using cell ranges instead of individual cell references.

Due to such amazing features of this function, every Excel users want to get rid of this Text Join Function not working issue as quickly as possible.

After reading and applying the fixes of this article you can easily fix TEXTJOIN function in Excel 2016 not working issue on your own.

Don’t forget to share your opinion…!

Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.