How to Separate Text in Excel Shortcut: Quick and Easy Methods

Separating text in Excel can be done quickly using a built-in feature called "Text to Columns." This allows you to divide text within a single cell into multiple columns, based on a specific delimiter like a comma, space, or tab. Here’s how you can do it in a few simple steps.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Separate Text in Excel Shortcut

In this section, we’ll walk through the steps to separate text in Excel using a shortcut method. By the end, you’ll be able to take any text in a cell and split it into multiple columns.

Step 1: Select the cells

Highlight the cells that contain the text you want to separate.

Make sure you select all the cells that have the text you need to split. This can be an entire column or just a specific range of cells.

Step 2: Open the "Text to Columns" Wizard

Press the shortcut Alt + A + E to open the "Text to Columns" wizard.

This wizard is a powerful tool that helps you split text based on a delimiter, such as a comma or space.

Step 3: Choose the delimiter

Select the delimiter that matches the text you want to separate and click "Next."

Common delimiters include commas, spaces, and tabs. Choose the one that fits your data.

Step 4: Set the column data format

Choose the format for the new columns and click "Finish."

Decide if the new columns should be in Text, Date, or General format to ensure your data looks just right.

Step 5: Review the separated text

Check your worksheet to see the separated text in different columns.

Your text should now be divided into the columns based on the delimiter you selected. Make any necessary adjustments.

After completing these steps, your text will be split into separate columns. This process simplifies data analysis and can save you a lot of time.

Tips for How to Separate Text in Excel Shortcut

  • Always make a backup of your data before using "Text to Columns" to avoid losing any information.
  • Use the "Fixed Width" option if your data doesn’t have a consistent delimiter.
  • Customize the delimiter if your text uses something unique like a semicolon or pipe.
  • Preview your data in the wizard to ensure it splits correctly.
  • Remember to format the new columns appropriately to match your data needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I choose the wrong delimiter?

If you select the wrong delimiter, your text won’t separate as expected. You can undo the action (Ctrl + Z) and try again with a different delimiter.

Can I use "Text to Columns" for dates?

Yes, you can separate dates into day, month, and year using the delimiter that separates them, usually a slash or dash.

How do I separate text with multiple delimiters?

You can use the "Text to Columns" wizard multiple times, each time specifying a different delimiter.

Is there a way to automate this process?

Yes, you can use Excel macros to automate the "Text to Columns" process for repetitive tasks.

What if my data changes frequently?

Frequent changes mean you’ll need to repeat the "Text to Columns" process whenever your data updates. Automation through macros can help.


  1. Select the cells
  2. Open the "Text to Columns" Wizard
  3. Choose the delimiter
  4. Set the column data format
  5. Review the separated text


Separating text in Excel using a shortcut is a practical skill that enhances your data management capabilities. Whether you’re dealing with large datasets or just need to split a simple list, "Text to Columns" is a versatile tool.

By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to efficiently manage your data. Remember to always check your results, and don’t hesitate to explore Excel’s other features for even more advanced data manipulation.

Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be an Excel wizard! For further reading, consider exploring Excel’s built-in help resources or online forums where users share their tips and tricks. Happy Excel-ing!

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