Distribute the contents of a cell into adjacent columns

You can divide the contents of a cell and distribute the constituent parts into multiple adjacent cells. For example, if your worksheet contains a column Full Name, you can split that column into two columns—a First Name column and Last Name column.


Follow these steps:

Note: A range containing a column that you want to split can include any number of rows, but it can include no more than one column. It's important to keep enough blank columns to the right of the selected column, which will prevent data in any adjacent columns from being overwritten by the data that is to be distributed. If necessary, insert a number of empty columns that will be sufficient to contain each of the constituent parts of the distributed data.

  1. Select the cell, range, or entire column that contains the text values that you want to split.

  2. On the Data tab, in the Data Tools group, click Text to Columns.

    Data Tools group on the Data tab

  3. Follow the instructions in the Convert Text to Columns Wizard to specify how you want to divide the text into separate columns.  

    Note: For help with completing all the steps of the wizard, see the topic, Split text into different columns with the Convert Text to Columns Wizard, or click Help button image in the Convert to Text Columns Wizard.

This feature isn't available in Excel for the web.

If you have the Excel desktop application, you can use the Open in Excel button to open the workbook and distribute the contents of a cell into adjacent columns.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

See Also

Overview of formulas in Excel

How to avoid broken formulas

Find and correct errors in formulas

Excel keyboard shortcuts and function keys

TEXT functions (reference)

Excel functions (alphabetical)

Excel functions (by category)

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