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Text to Columns is a very fun feature of Excel. This feature will help you break apart cells that have information that you’d rather be in more than one cell. For example, if you had “John Smith” in one cell, but you were building a list of first and last names in your company, you’d want “John” in one cell and “Smith” in another. Text to Columns is the answer.

text to columns 1

Here we have a list of first and last names that we’d like to separate. As they sit now, they’re both in the same cell.

text to columns 2

We added a new blank column by right clicking on column C and clicking “insert.”

text to columns 3

Next, we simply have to select all of the text we’d like to separate, go to our “data” ribbon and click “Text to Columns.”

Leave “delimited” chosen and click “Next.”

text to columns 4

Check the “Space” delimiter box and notice that the preview cuts the names just where we’d like. Press Finish.

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Now they’re in separate columns! In the picture above, I’ve renamed columns B and C to “First Name” and “Last Name” to complete the task.