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Excel Tutorial: Text to Columns

I've had so many people over the years ask, "I have data in a text file, but need to put it into Excel to analyze the data and get reporting in a workable format, but don't know how."

And the answer is actually so simple, I love showing people the 2 different ways you can get text into columns using Excel.

Using the Text to Columns Feature

To convert text to columns, follow these steps.

1. Paste text from another application.

2. Select the text.

3. Select the Data tab from the Ribbon.

4. Select Text to Columns.

5. In the Convert Text to Columns Wizard, choose the file type that best describes your data. Select Next.

6. In the next screen, select the type of divider. In this example, a space separates the items we want to convert to columns. Your text could be divided by almost any character. Select Next.

7. In the next screen, you see a preview of the data converted to columns. For each column:

· Define the data format (General, Text, Date) or choose to skip that column.

· Enter or select the destination on the worksheet.

Using the Advanced button, you can also choose your settings for numeric data.

8. When you have finished, select Finish.

You can now work with your data as separate columns.

Another way is to simply choose File, Open, and select the File Type that contains the data. The Excel Text to Columns Wizard, as shown above, will open. Follow the steps as shown above and the data will be converted to columns.

It really is that simple.

If you'd like to see it in action, view the video below.

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