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There will be some times that you'd like to be able to grab some information that's included in one column in your worksheets, and break it out into two. I've opened up a employee area in my EatCake Human Resources worksheet, that requires my employees to login with a user ID. And I'd like that user ID to be their first initial of their first name and their last name. And this is exactly how I've created their email addresses. So I'm going to use this as my starting point. I want to break out their email addresses into two pieces, the information before the @, and then the information after the @.
Now, to do that, I'm going to use the Text to Column command in my Data Tools group under my Data tab. Before I do that though, I want to make sure I've got enough area where that information is going to go. Because if I started to break it out now, it's going to overwrite my start date, and that's not something I want to happen. I want to retain that information. So I insert some extra columns. I highlight, column D, and I right-click and I select Insert. And now I've got a new column here.
I'm going to add a couple of extra columns for good measure, and I'm going to do that by hitting my F4, my function 4 button, and that gives me a few more columns to work with. I also don't want to lose these email addresses, so I want to highlight the e-mail addresses, clicking and drag to select them, right-click and select Copy, go to column 3, right-click in my first cell, D2, and then select Paste after a right-click. And that's going to pull now a copy of the email addresses that I can work with in this column.
Next, I'm going to select the column I want to work with, and then I'm going to go up to the Text to Columns function, and select it. And I'm going to get this Convert Text to Columns Wizard. And this will be something that you will be visiting again when you learn how to import data from a text file. It's the same set of commands you're going to go through. Here, is it Delimited? What is the type of file were working with? What does our column look like? And yes, you're selecting a delimited area, you got a particular character in this group of information that's common throughout, and you're going to break it at that point. So you say Delimited, and you click Next.
Then it's going to ask you, "what is it delimited by? What's that character I'm going to be looking for in order to break your data for you?" It's going to default to Tab, but it's not a tab, and so you scroll through to see if any of these other options fit, and they don't. So you have an Other selection here that you choose, and take in your @, which is a Shift and the number 2, and that's where you get your @ from. Notice now, here in your Data preview, that it has what we call parsed your data at the right point. It says, "Oh, I know what she wants to do. She wants to get rid of that @, and instead, push the data from one column into two. And she wants to do it wherever she finds that @.
Here's what I think she wants to do." So you take a look at where the system is going to cut your information. And you can say, "Yup, you know what, I've picked the right things. It makes sense to me. This is where I want to go with this particular wizard." Now this is a very important section to just pay attention to when you are doing this yourself, because it really helps you determine whether or not you've grabbed the right delimiter. Because otherwise, it could break your data in a few different places. So I've broken the data out, I click Next. It says, "What kind of format do you want in these columns when you move it?" I'm going to leave it at General, but if there was a particular format you wanted to work with, then you would select it, and then you say Finish. And then when you come in, you'll notice, very quickly, the information that used to be the email address is now broken into two columns; their first name--first initial of their first name and their last name--and this eatcake.
Well you know you don't need those columns anymore, so you can just highlight them, right-click and select Delete to remove them. And then the last thing you need to do is just make sure that you've got the title correct in your column. You select that column name, and now call this UserName because that's what you've created by using that Text to Columns command. And within five or six clicks, you've got a whole new list of information that's been parsed by using the Text to Columns command in your Data tab.
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