How To Split Columns In Excel

To split columns in Excel, you can use the “Text to Columns” feature to specify the delimiter that separates the data you want to split.

When working with large datasets in Excel, it is not uncommon to have data that needs to be split into separate columns. Whether it’s separating first names from last names, splitting a full address into street, city, and state, or dividing a single cell into multiple columns, the ability to split columns in Excel is an essential skill for data manipulation and analysis. In this blog post, we will explore various techniques and tools available in Excel to efficiently split columns and effectively manage your data. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, you will find practical tips and step-by-step instructions to help you master the art of splitting columns in Excel. So, let’s dive in and learn how to split columns like a pro!

How To Split Columns In Excel: Step-by-Step


Step 1: Open the Excel Workbook

To access the desired information, open the workbook and navigate to the specific sheet that holds the data you want to split.

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Step 2: Selecting the Column

To split a column, simply click on the header of the desired column. This action will select the entire column, making it easier for you to manage and manipulate the specific column data as needed.

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Step 3: Go to the ‘Data’ tab

To access the ‘Data’ tab, look for it on the top menu and simply click on it. This tab allows you to manage and manipulate your data efficiently.

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Step 4: Click on ‘Text to Columns’

In the Data Tools group, located within the software interface, you will easily locate the ‘Text to Columns’ option. Just a simple click on this option will lead you to the desired functionality.

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Step 5: Choose ‘Delimited’ or ‘Fixed width’

The ‘Convert Text to Columns Wizard’ is a powerful tool that assists in splitting text into separate columns for better organization and analysis. When you initiate the wizard, you are presented with two options: ‘Delimited’ and ‘Fixed width’.

By selecting ‘Delimited’, you can easily separate the text using specific characters, such as commas or tabs, which act as delimiters. This option is particularly useful when dealing with datasets where different pieces of information are separated by these characters. For example, if you have a data set with names, addresses, and phone numbers all in one column, the delimited option can split the data into separate columns, making it more manageable and enabling further analysis.

On the other hand, by choosing ‘Fixed width’, you can split text based on a specific character count. This option becomes handy when you have a consistent pattern where each piece of information occupies the same number of characters. For instance, if you have a dataset where each value takes up a fixed number of characters, like a table of log entries with a fixed-length date and time format, using the fixed width option helps in neatly separating the columns based on the character count.

Both options provide a straightforward and efficient way to convert text into columns, improving data organization and facilitating tasks like filtering, sorting, and performing calculations on individual columns. The ‘Convert Text to Columns Wizard’ ensures accuracy and saves a significant amount of time by automating the process, allowing you to focus on analyzing and deriving insights from your data.

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Step 6: Set your Delimiters or Fixed Widths

If you selected ‘Delimited’, please indicate the delimiters in your data (such as spaces, commas, or tabs), or input a custom delimiter. If you preferred ‘Fixed Width’, modify the column breaks accordingly.

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Step 7: Select Destination

In the wizard window, you have the option to choose whether Excel should place the split text in the original column or specify a new location for it to be placed.

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Step 8: Complete the Process

After clicking on the ‘Finish’ button, the split command will be executed, resulting in the division of the single column into multiple columns, according to the specified criteria or parameters.


In conclusion, splitting columns in Excel can greatly enhance the organization and clarity of your data. Whether you need to separate names, addresses, or any other type of data, Excel provides various tools and techniques to easily accomplish this task.

We explored three different methods in this blog post: using the Text to Columns feature, employing formulas such as LEFT, RIGHT, and MID, and utilizing the Flash Fill feature. Each method has its own advantages and can be chosen based on the complexity of your data and personal preference.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Familiarize yourself with these methods and experiment with different scenarios to become proficient in splitting columns efficiently. By mastering this skill, you can save time and effort in organizing your data, unlocking the true potential of Excel as a powerful data management tool.

So, go ahead and start splitting those columns! With the knowledge and techniques shared in this blog post, you are well-equipped to tackle any column-splitting challenges that come your way. Happy Excel-ing!

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