How to Split Text in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Simplify Data

how to split text in excel

Splitting text in Excel can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. You can break down large chunks of text into separate columns using the built-in Text to Columns feature. This is especially handy if you’re dealing with data like full names, addresses, or any text data that needs to be separated. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be splitting text in Excel like a pro.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Splitting Text in Excel

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know that these instructions will help you break text into different columns based on separators like spaces, commas, or custom characters.

Step 1: Select the Cell or Column

First, highlight the cell or column containing the text you want to split.

Make sure you select the entire column if you need to split multiple cells. This will make the process smoother and more efficient.

Step 2: Go to the Data Tab

At the top of the Excel window, click on the ‘Data’ tab.

This tab contains various tools for managing your data, including the Text to Columns feature.

Step 3: Click on Text to Columns

In the Data Tools group, click on ‘Text to Columns’.

This will open a wizard that will guide you through the process of splitting your text.

Step 4: Choose the Delimited Option

In the Convert Text to Columns Wizard, select ‘Delimited’, then click ‘Next’.

Delimited means your text is separated by characters like commas, spaces, or tabs. This is the most common method for splitting text.

Step 5: Select Your Delimiters

Check the boxes for the delimiters that correspond to how your text is separated (e.g., commas, spaces).

You can select more than one delimiter. For example, if your data is separated by commas and spaces, check both options.

Step 6: Preview and Finish

Look at the Data preview at the bottom of the wizard. If it looks good, click ‘Finish’.

The preview will show you how your text will be split before you finalize the changes. Make sure it looks correct before completing this step.

After you complete these steps, your text will be split into separate columns based on the delimiters you specified.

Tips for Splitting Text in Excel

  • Double-check your delimiters: Make sure you know what characters separate your text before starting.
  • Use the preview: Always check the Data preview section before you click ‘Finish’ to ensure everything looks correct.
  • Backup your data: Consider making a copy of your data before splitting text, just in case.
  • Custom delimiters: You can use custom delimiters if your text is separated by unique characters.
  • Practice: The more you use Text to Columns, the more comfortable you will become with the feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I split text in Excel using multiple delimiters?

You can check multiple delimiter boxes in the Text to Columns wizard. For example, you can separate text by both commas and spaces.

Can I undo the text split in Excel?

Yes, you can use the Undo button (Ctrl+Z) to revert the split immediately after doing it.

Is there a way to split text without using Text to Columns?

You can use Excel functions like LEFT, RIGHT, MID, and FIND for more complex text splitting tasks, but Text to Columns is simpler for most needs.

What if my text doesn’t split correctly?

Ensure you selected the correct delimiters and that your text is uniformly formatted. Inconsistent text can cause issues.

Can I split text into more than two columns?

Absolutely! Your text can be split into multiple columns depending on how many delimiters are present.


  1. Select the Cell or Column
  2. Go to the Data Tab
  3. Click on Text to Columns
  4. Choose the Delimited Option
  5. Select Your Delimiters
  6. Preview and Finish


Splitting text in Excel is a straightforward process that can save you lots of time, especially when dealing with large datasets. By following the steps above, you can efficiently break down your text into manageable pieces, making your data easier to work with and analyze. Remember to double-check your delimiters and use the Data preview feature to ensure everything splits correctly.

If you’re frequently working with text data in Excel, mastering the Text to Columns feature is a must. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to handle any text-splitting task easily. For more advanced text manipulation, you can explore other Excel functions or even VBA scripts. Happy data crunching!

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