How to split cells in Excel: Text to Columns, Flash Fill and formulas

How do you split a cell in Excel ? By using the text to Columns feature, Flash Fill, formula or Split Text joyride. This tutorial outlines all the options to help you choose the proficiency well suited for your particular tax .
by and large, you may need to divide cells in Excel in two cases. Most frequently, when you import data from some external source where all information is in one column while you want it in classify column. Or, you may want to separate cells in an existing board for better percolate, sorting or a detailed analysis .

How to split cells in Excel using Text to Columns

The Text to Columns feature comes in actually handy when you need to split cellular telephone contents into two or more cells. It allows separating textbook strings by a certain delimiter such as comma, semicolon or space arsenic well as splitting strings of a situate length. Let ‘s see how each scenario works .

How to separate cells in Excel by delimiter

Suppose, you have a number of participants where a player appoint, country and expected arrival date are all in the same column : Data in one cell to be split into several cells

What we want is to separate data in one cell into several cells such as First Name, last name, Country, Arrival Date and Status. To have it done, perform the follow steps :

  1. If you want to place the results in the middle of your table, start by inserting a new column(s) to avoid overwriting your existing data. In this example, we have inserted 3 new columns like shown in the screenshot below:
    Insert a new column(s) to avoid overwriting your existing data. If you don’t have any data next to the column you want to separate, skip this step.
  2. Select the cells you want to divide, navigate to the Data tab > Data Tools group, and click the Text to Columns button.
    Click Text to Columns on the Data tab.
  3. In the first step of the Convert Text to Columns wizard, you choose how to split cells – by delimiter or width.In our case, the cell contents are separated with spaces and commas, so we select Delimited, and click Next.
    Choose how to separate cells - by delimiter or width.
  4. In the next step, you specify the delimiters and, optionally, text qualifier.You can choose one or more predefined delimiters as well as type your own one in the Other box. In this example, we select Space and Comma:
    Choose one or more predefined delimiters or type your own one.
    Tips :

    • Treat consecutive delimiters as one. Be sure to select this option when your data may contain two or more delimiters in a row, e.g. when there are a few consecutive spaces between words or the data is separate by a comma and a space, like “Smith, John”.
    • Specifying the text qualifier. Use this option when some text is enclosed in single or double quotes, and you’d like such portions of text to be inseparable. For example, if you choose a comma (,) as the delimiter and a quotation mark (“) as the text qualifier, then any words enclosed in double quotes, e.g. “California, USA”, will be put into one cell as California, USA. If you select {none} as the text qualifier, then “California will be distributed into one cell (together with an opening quotation mark) and USA” into another (together with a closing mark).
    • Data preview. Before you click the Next button, it stands to reason to scroll through the Data preview section to make sure Excel has split all cells contents right.
  5. Just two more things are left for you to do – choose the data format and specify where you want to paste the resulting values:
    • Data format. By default, the General format is set for all columns, which works well in most cases. In our example, we need the Data format for the arrival dates. To change the data format for a particular column, click on that column under Data preview to select it, and then choose one of the formats under Column data format (please see the screenshot below).
    • Destination. To tell Excel where you want to output the separated data, click the Collapse Dialog icon Collapse Dialog button next to the Destination box and select the top-leftmost cell of the destination range, or type a cell reference directly in the box. Please be very careful with this option, and make sure there are enough empty columns right to the destination cell.
      Set the desired format for split cells.

    Notes :

    • If you do not want to import some column that appears in the data preview, select that column and check Do not import column (skip) radio button under Column data format.
    • It is not possible to import the split data to another spreadsheet or workbook. If you attempt to do this, you will get the invalid destination error.
  6. Finally, click the Finish button and you are done! As shown in the below screenshot, Excel has perfectly placed the contents of one cell into several cells:
    Data in one cell is split into several cells.

How to split text of a fixed width

This department explains how to divide a cell in Excel based on the number of characters you specify. To make things easier to understand, please consider the trace exercise .
Supposing, you have Product IDs and Product names in one column and you want to extract the IDs into a separate column : Product IDs and Product names to be separated into 2 columns Since all of the product IDs incorporate 9 characters, the Fixed width option fits absolutely for the job :

  1. Start the Convert Text to Columns wizard as explained in the above example. In the first step of the wizard, choose Fixed width and click Next.
    Choose Fixed width and click Next.
  2. Set the width of each column by using the Data preview section. As shown in the screenshot below, a vertical line represents a column break, and to create a new break line, you simply click at the desired position (9 characters in our case):
    Set the columns' widths using the data preview section. To remove the break, double-click a line; to move a break in another position, simply drag the line with the mouse.
  3. In the next step, choose the data format and destination for the split cells exactly as we did in the previous example, and click the Finish button to complete the separation.

How to separate cells Excel with Flash Fill

Beginning with Excel 2013, you can make use of the Flash Fill feature that can not only mechanically populate cells with data, but besides split cell contents .
Let ‘s take a column of data from our beginning example and see how Excel ‘s Flash Fill can help us split a cell in half :

  1. Insert a new column next to the column with the original data and type the desired part of the text in the first cell (participant name in this example).
  2. Type the text in a couple more cells. As soon as Excel senses a pattern, it will populate similar data into other cells automatically. In our case, it’s taken 3 cells for Excel to figure out a pattern:
    Separate cells in Excel with Flash Fill.
  3. If you are satisfied with what you see, press the Enter key, and all the names will be copied to a separate column at once.

How to split cell in Excel with formulas

Whatever divers information your cells may contain, a formula to split a cell in Excel boils down to finding a place of the delimiter ( comma, quad, etc. ) and extracting a substring before, after or in-between the delimiters. generally, you ‘d use SEARCH or FIND functions to determine the delimiter ‘s localization and one of the Text functions ( LEFT, RIGHT or MID ) to get a substring .
For exemplar, you ‘d use the pursue recipe to split data in cell A2 separated with a comma and space ( please see the screenshot under ) :
To extract the name in B2 :
=LEFT(A2, SEARCH(",",A2)-1)
here, the SEARCH function determines the position of a comma in A2, and you subtract 1 from the result, because the comma itself is not expected in the output. The LEFT function extracts that number of characters from the start of the string.

To extract the country in C2 :
=RIGHT(A2, LEN(A2)-SEARCH(",", A2)-1)
here, the LEN function calculates the total duration of the drawstring, from which you subtract the position of the comma returned by SEARCH. additionally, you subtract the space character ( -1 ). The difference goes to the 2nd argument RIGHT, so it pulls that many characters from the end of the chain .
The solution will look as follows : DSplit the cell content using formulas If your delimiter is a comma with or without space, you can use the follow formula to extract a substring after it ( where 1000 is the utmost numeral of characters to pull ) :
=TRIM(MID(A2, SEARCH(",", A2)+1, 1000))
As you see, there is no cosmopolitan rule that could handle all kinds of strings. In each particular case, you will have to work out your own solution .
The estimable news program is that the dynamic range functions that appeared in Excel 365 make the use of many old formulas unnecessary. alternatively, you can use these functions :

  • TEXTSPLIT – split strings by any delimiter that you specify.
  • TEXTBEFORE – extract text before a specific character or substring.
  • TEXTAFTER – extract text after a certain character or word.

For more rule examples to divide cells in Excel, please check out the following resources :

Split cells using Split Text feature

now that you are conversant with the built-in features, let me show you an alternative way to divide cells in Excel. I mean the Split Text instrument included with our Ultimate Suite for Excel. It can perform the trace operations :

  • Split cell by character
  • Split cell by string
  • Split cell by mask (pattern)

For exemplar, splitting the participant details in one cellular telephone into respective cells can be done in 2 quick steps :

  1. Select the cells you want to separate, and click the Split Text icon on the Ablebits Data tab, in the Text group.
    The Split Text tool
  2. On the add-in’s pane, configure the following options:
    • Select Comma and Space as the delimiters.
    • Select the Treat consecutive delimiters as one check box.
    • Choose Split to columns.
    • Click the Split button.

    Splitting cells by comma and space as the delimiters

perform ! Four new columns with the split data are inserted between the original column, and you entirely need to give those column appropriate names : The original cells are split into 4 separate columns.

Tip. To separate a column of names to the beginning name, last mention and in-between name, you can use a particular Split Names tool .
If you are curious to see the Split Text and Split Names tools in action, we are welcome to use the download liaison below. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our web log next workweek !

Available downloads

Ultimate Suite 14-day fully-functional version ( .exe file )

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