Excel Tip: separate data in one cell into multiple cells

Although this video is for Excel 2007 it is the same in Excel 2003 except for how you get to the “Text to Column” command.

The key to remember for this to work in the desired manner is that wherever you want Excel to “break” the data into separate cells must be “pre-defined” with some type of character. As you will see in the video it can be nearly anything (letters or spaces are probably not a good idea).

If you need any help with this please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/office Andy W

    Great post on distributing data from one cell to multiple cells! It’s great that you’re helping people better use the Excel application. The Office community on Facebook could benefit from your knowledge and expertise. Check it out at http://www.facebook.com/office

    MSFT Office Outreach Team

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Andy – thanks for both the comment and the Facebook suggestion – I’ll hop on over there! It’s my intent to get up to two posts per week on Excel (and probably eventually Word). Excel is really my favorite of the two!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/office Andy W

    No problem Michelle. I look forward to your future tips!

    MSFT Office Outreach Team

  • Kai

    I’ve always had problems learning Excel, but thanks for your tutorial. It is very easy to understand :)
    .-= Kai´s last blog ..Keywords That Sell =-.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Kai – thank you for your comment. Are there other Excel things you would like to learn as well?

  • http://www.discountprinting.com.au Rowan@Discount Printing

    Thanks for sahring this video. Excel has so many features which people don’t know about. Keep sharing stuff like this if you can, it’s really helpful for people like me who use Excel on a regular basis!

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Rowan – I have many more Excel videos I want to do. It’s just a matter of setting aside the time to do them. So happy you found it useful and that it also will help you become more efficient.

  • greg

    thx for the vidio it was alot of help. now tho i have a differnt problem i have an excel spreadsheet that has 4 collums of data that i would like to link together. so the say data in b4 will always be linked to c4 and d4 so i can put the data in collum b in alphbetical order and have c and d still match can this be done?

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Greg – I’m sure it can be done. I’m more of a visual person. Will send you an email to get more details.

    • Phil @ Excel Tutorial Online

      Hey greg,

      if you would like to do the exact opposite to what Michelle has described (e. g. combine the stuff of cells a4 to d4 in cell e4) you can concatenate them using the worksheet function concatenate or the appropriate concatenator (does this word exist?? 😉 )

      Use the following formula in cell E4:
      or alternatively
      hope that helps