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Excel: Parse Text from One Column into Multiple Columns

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

How to Parse Text from One Column into Multiple Columns

You can move text from one cell and parse it across multiple cells. For example, if you have a column of last name, first name, and age, you can split that column into separate last name, first name, and age columns, as seen in the picture below

1. Highlight the column that you want to parse by clicking on the column header. (In the below image, Column A is selected)

2. Select the DATA tab

3. Click on the TEXT TO COLUMNS button

4. The Convert Text to Columns Wizard will open. You have two options, but Excel has the intelligence to identity which options best fit the selected data. The Delimited options has been selected because the data is separated by the comma character.

NOTE: If your data is separated by tab, comma (,), semi comma (;), pipeline (|), or space, the Delimited option will be selected. If your data has no character separating the data, then the Fixed Width option will be selected, which will allow a user to mark the width of each column.

Click the Next

5. The next screen provides different delimiter options, but since Excel has already identified the delimiter character as comma, which is accurate, click Next

6. The last screen allows the option to set the data format, but in most instance, General will convert numeric values to numbers, date values to dates, and all remaining values to text. Click on Finish

7. Excel will parse the data into separate columns.

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