Combine the first character of a cell with another cell
A Q on Stack Exchange from a very long time ago included:
I have first names in one column and second names in another, I want to create a third column that contains the first character from the first name and add it to the surname creating first initial + surname.
The user asked "How can I do this using Excel?" and gave this example:
John & Smith = jsmith
So far there have been six As posted, of which only one seems fully to respect the given requirements (though it was another A that was 'Accepted'):
This makes standard assumptions about the location of the data (A1 for first name, B1 for surname) and the delimiter (comma).
The formula works but seems uncharacteristically lengthy for such a simple requirement, and is perhaps more opaque than necessary.
Is there a shorter and/or clearer formula to the same effect?