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Converting text to columns

From: Excel 2007 Essential Training

Video: Converting text to columns

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 @.

Converting text to columns

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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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007 Essential Training
Excel 2007 Essential Training

85 video lessons · 77544 viewers

Lorna Daly
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 36s
    1. Welcome
      36s
  2. 10m 57s
    1. Why use a spreadsheet?
      1m 44s
    2. What's changed in Excel 2007?
      5m 37s
    3. The Ribbon
      2m 9s
    4. The Microsoft Office Button
      1m 27s
  3. 12m 10s
    1. What's on the Ribbon?
      1m 56s
    2. Making your way around the Ribbon
      2m 12s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      3m 8s
    4. Customizing the Microsoft Office Button
      4m 54s
  4. 16m 15s
    1. Opening old worksheets
      2m 24s
    2. Adding and deleting worksheets
      3m 18s
    3. Inserting and deleting cells
      6m 53s
    4. Freezing areas of a worksheet
      3m 40s
  5. 20m 51s
    1. Width and height
      7m 25s
    2. Numeric formats
      2m 21s
    3. Alignment of data
      3m 19s
    4. Playing with fonts
      2m 58s
    5. AutoFilter
      2m 21s
    6. Formatting as a table
      2m 27s
  6. 21m 31s
    1. Removing duplicates
      6m 1s
    2. What is Conditional Formatting?
      2m 21s
    3. Working with Conditional Formatting
      2m 14s
    4. Managing Conditional Formatting rule preferences
      2m 39s
    5. Converting text to columns
      4m 35s
    6. Data validation
      3m 41s
  7. 10m 56s
    1. Templates
      3m 45s
    2. Styles
      3m 35s
    3. AutoFormat
      3m 36s
  8. 12m 16s
    1. Excel lists have now become tables
      2m 34s
    2. Converting text to columns
      3m 11s
    3. Sorting and Grouping
      5m 9s
    4. Creating a summary report
      1m 22s
  9. 6m 44s
    1. Proofing your work
      3m 31s
    2. Providing comments on worksheets
      3m 13s
  10. 11m 43s
    1. Protecting and sharing a worksheet
      3m 57s
    2. Allowing others to edit ranges
      4m 3s
    3. Track Changes
      3m 43s
  11. 22m 43s
    1. Preparing to print
      2m 31s
    2. Print Preview
      3m 33s
    3. The Page Layout Tab
      3m 56s
    4. Page Breaks
      4m 36s
    5. The Page Layout View
      3m 54s
    6. Headers and Footers
      4m 13s
  12. 22m 34s
    1. Adding themes to your worksheet
      2m 53s
    2. Page setup options
      8m 0s
    3. Scale to Fit
      2m 26s
    4. Worksheet options
      5m 29s
    5. Inserting images
      3m 46s
  13. 3m 50s
    1. Using templates
      3m 50s
  14. 17m 48s
    1. Workbook Views
      2m 53s
    2. Hiding and Zooming
      3m 44s
    3. Window Panes
      5m 31s
    4. More screen options
      5m 40s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Importing from Access
      2m 24s
    2. Using the Import Wizard for text files
      5m 52s
  16. 11m 23s
    1. The Find and Select button
      4m 34s
    2. Find and Replace
      2m 48s
    3. Removing duplicates
      4m 1s
  17. 17m 3s
    1. What are formulas?
      3m 20s
    2. Order of Operations
      2m 50s
    3. Relative and absolute referencing
      4m 54s
    4. The new Formula Tab
      5m 59s
  18. 17m 29s
    1. What are Functions?
      2m 57s
    2. AutoSum
      2m 47s
    3. Minimum
      3m 55s
    4. Trim
      5m 2s
    5. Left
      2m 48s
  19. 19m 51s
    1. Concatenation
      4m 10s
    2. SumIf
      4m 23s
    3. Lookup
      7m 25s
    4. What-If Analysis
      3m 53s
  20. 16m 44s
    1. Why create a chart?
      2m 12s
    2. Creating your chart
      3m 37s
    3. Modifying your chart
      6m 46s
    4. Laying out your chart
      4m 9s
  21. 17m 23s
    1. What are PivotTable reports and PivotChart reports?
      2m 32s
    2. Creating a PivotTable
      4m 47s
    3. Laying out your PivotTable
      2m 30s
    4. Designing your PivotTable
      4m 9s
    5. Creating a PivotChart
      3m 25s
  22. 8m 57s
    1. Why use macros?
      2m 14s
    2. Creating a macro
      4m 31s
    3. Macro security
      2m 12s
  23. 5m 36s
    1. Reviewing a workflow in Excel
      5m 36s
  24. 22s
    1. Conclusion
      22s

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