How to Split Text Into Two Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to split text into two columns in excel

Splitting text into two columns in Excel is a simple process that involves using the "Text to Columns" feature found under the Data tab. By following a few straightforward steps, you can separate text based on a specified delimiter, such as a space, comma, or tab. This guide will walk you through each step to ensure you can split your text with ease.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Splitting Text into Two Columns in Excel

In this section, we’re going to break down the process of splitting text into two columns using Excel’s built-in features. This will help you manage your data more efficiently.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Open the Excel file that contains the text you want to split.

Make sure you have the data visible and ready to be modified. It’s always a good idea to save a backup before making changes.

Step 2: Select the Cells You Want to Split

Click and drag to select the cells containing the text that needs splitting.

Highlighting the cells ensures that the changes will only affect the selected text and not other parts of the spreadsheet.

Step 3: Go to the Data Tab

Navigate to the "Data" tab on the Excel ribbon.

The Data tab houses the “Text to Columns” feature you’ll need. It’s located in the toolbar at the top of Excel.

Step 4: Click on Text to Columns

Click on "Text to Columns" in the Data Tools group.

This action opens the "Convert Text to Columns Wizard," which will guide you through the rest of the process.

Step 5: Choose Delimited and Click Next

In the wizard, select the "Delimited" option and click "Next."

Delimited means that your text is separated by a specific character, like a comma or space.

Step 6: Select Your Delimiter

Choose the delimiter that separates your text and click "Next."

Common delimiters include commas, tabs, and spaces. For instance, if your data is "FirstName LastName", you would select space.

Step 7: Finish the Wizard

Click "Finish" to complete the process.

Excel will now split the text into two columns using the delimiter you specified.

After you complete these steps, your selected text should be neatly divided into two separate columns. This can make your data easier to read and work with.

Tips for Splitting Text into Two Columns in Excel

  • Always back up your data before making any changes.
  • Preview your data in the wizard to make sure it looks correct before finishing.
  • If your delimiter is a character that appears frequently, consider changing it before splitting.
  • Use the "Fixed Width" option if your data doesn’t have a common delimiter.
  • Practice with a few rows of data first to make sure you understand the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my text has more than one delimiter?

If your text has multiple delimiters, you can choose more than one in the wizard by checking multiple boxes.

Can I use this method for numbers as well?

Yes, this method works for text and numbers alike. Just ensure the delimiter is consistent.

What happens if I make a mistake?

You can always undo the action by pressing Ctrl + Z, or close the file without saving and reopen it.

Is there a limit to the number of rows I can split?

Excel can handle a large number of rows, but performance may vary based on your computer’s capabilities.

Can I split text into more than two columns?

Absolutely! The wizard allows you to split text into as many columns as needed by selecting the appropriate delimiters.


  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cells you want to split.
  3. Go to the Data tab.
  4. Click on Text to Columns.
  5. Choose Delimited and click Next.
  6. Select your delimiter.
  7. Finish the wizard.


Splitting text into two columns in Excel is a valuable skill that can streamline your data management tasks. By following these easy steps, you can quickly and efficiently organize your data, making it more accessible and easier to analyze. Always remember to back up your data before making any changes to avoid any accidental loss. If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring other Excel features to further enhance your data handling skills. Now, go ahead and give it a try—you’ll be an Excel pro in no time!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy