How to Split Text to Columns in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

July 31, 2023 802 views

Using Excel’s Text to Columns function can help users increase work efficiency and reduce workload.

To convert their text to columns in Excel, they need some proven methods with clear instructions. Many users aren’t aware of this feature and how it operates.

That’s where we come in! Below are 3 effective methods with clear instructions aimed to help you split your text into rows and columns using Excel.

1. Quickest Way to Split a Text Cell into Two or More Columns in Excel

Using the Text to Columns function is the quickest way to split a text cell into two or more rows in Excel.


Step 1: First, you must go to the Ribbon and choose a text cell (assume it is B1). Further, you need to select the Data tab. In the data tab, you’ll find the Text to Column tool. Select the text-to-column tool.

text to column option

Step 2: After completing the first step, click Next after leaving the default file type.

Step 3: This is a formula to convert text through a delimiter. Click the Next button after selecting Semicolon under Delimiters.

text to column delimeter step excel

Step 4: The next thing you need to do is to click Finish to complete the process.

text to column finish step excel

Step 5: Move the numbers from Row 1 to Column B using the Transpose Data tool.

text to column in excel

Boom! Your text will be converted into columns in Excel.

2. Text to Columns in Excel Using Flashfill feature


Step 1: Insert a new column next to the column containing the original names.

insert a new columns

Step 2: In the first cell of the new column, type the name part you want to extract (e.g., the first name in this example).

Typing the first name

Start typing the first name in the second cell of the new column.

Excel will automatically detect the pattern and populate the remaining cells in the column with the corresponding first names.

Step 3: Press Enter to complete the process.

Press Enter

Flash Fill in Excel provides time-saving advantages, user-friendliness, and flexibility when splitting text to columns. However, it is crucial to maintain consistent patterns and be cautious when handling sensitive data or complex transformations.

3. Text to Columns Using Excel Formulas


Step 1: In a blank cell (e.g., B2), enter the formula "=LEFT(A2, FIND(" ", A2, 1) - 1)" to extract the first name.

Enter the formula on B2

Step 2: In another blank cell (e.g., C2), enter the formula "=RIGHT(A2, LEN(A2) - FIND(" ", A2, 1))" to extract the last name.

Enter the formula on C2

Step 3: Copy these formulas down the respective columns, and you will see the full name column split into first and last name columns.

Copy the formula

Using formulas to split text to columns in Excel offers flexibility, accuracy, and dynamic updates, but it may involve complexity, time consumption, and a higher risk of errors compared to other methods.

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Take a Closer Look at Excel Text to Columns

Converting text into columns is needed and important because many users need softwares to convert various external data into a series of tables. That’s where Excel helps those users.

The Excel software allows people to easily convert text to columns without wasting time. Additionally, we see that everyone loves being more and more efficient; hence Excel tables are powerful and convenient, improving work efficiency.

Here are some benefits of converting text into columns using Excel:

Easy readability

Text-to-column in Excel helps improve the readability of texts. For example, if one column contains the first, middle, and last names, it'll be easy to read and analyze after converting your texts to different rows and columns.


Imagine a lot of data needs to be converted into a series of tables. It’ll take you more time than you think. You can efficiently operate Excel and convert your text to columns to save time. This will save you worthy time, which you can utilize to do other things.

More efficient work

Your work becomes more efficient when you work better and faster using new techniques and tools. Excel makes your work look well-organized and professional. The more the work is efficient, the more it improves your productivity.

Reduce workload

As Excel offers to convert your texts/articles into rows and columns, it’ll help you reduce your workload. Previously, you would have to convert texts to columns manually, but thanks to Excel which reduces your workload by allowing easy conversion with its functions and tools.


What is the difference between inserting a column and adding a column in Excel?

Inserting a column in Microsoft Excel is creating a new column. It shifts the existing column to the right side and increases the number of columns. Adding a column is similar to inserting a column, but adding a column means that you are creating a column at the end of existing columns.

Can I insert a column without disrupting the formatting of the worksheet?

The simple answer is no. In Excel, adding columns and inserting columns are a little different.

As adding a column means creating a column at the end of an existing column, whereas inserting a column means creating a column at a specific point, and that it’ll disrupt the worksheet as it’ll shift all other columns to the right and create a new one when you click insert column (Insert Cell option).

How can I insert a column without affecting the formulas in the worksheet?

If you need to insert a column without affecting the formulas in the worksheet, you’ll have to do it manually. You need to create a new column right after your existing columns finish.

To insert from tools, you need to select the last column with data and choose the insert column to the right to insert a column without affecting the formulas in the worksheet. However, if you choose a cell between data, I.e., there are formulas in the right and left cells, and you choose a middle cell, then your formulas in the worksheet will be affected.


Excel has a wide range of valuable functions, and one of them is text to columns conversion.

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WPS Office allows users to convert their data or texts to rows and columns too, using the Excel tab in the application. Working simultaneously on different applications is a dream for many; hence, this dream can come true by downloading the WPS Office application. Download yours now!

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