Have you ever had a list of names in a spreadsheet and wanted to separate them by first and last names into two columns? Instead of wasting time with tedious copying and pasting, there’s a quick, easy way to separate text into columns in Google Sheets.

  • In Google Sheets, paste your data into a column. You’ll see a little clipboard icon appear in the lower-right hand corner of your data. Click on that, and you will see the option to split the data into columns. Alternatively, if your data is already in your spreadsheet, head up to the Data menu > Split text to columns. 

split text columns screenshot

  • Depending on the source of the data, you may have commas, periods, or spaces separating the information. In our example, we’re set to comma, meaning that the information after a comma is going to be moved to a new column. 

Split text screenshot

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.


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3 thoughts on “How to Split Text into Columns in Google Sheets

  1. David J Hall Reply

    Great video, very helpful. However, for some reason I do not have the DATA tab. I cannot figure out how to access it. I use a Chromebook, which has not been as helpful as I had thought it would be (it is not as user-friendly as a smartphone). Any ideas on how I can get access to the DATA tab and other functionality?

  2. JimmB Reply

    Tabs don’t appear to be supported as a separator character. As in a Tab Delimited text file, or pasting from an HTML table. How do I use TABS as the separator character?

  3. Michelle Reply

    Thanks – this was helpful! The little clipboard didn’t appear when I pasted, but the option you showed to later split data already in a spreadsheet worked perfectly. Appreciate the clear video.

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