How to Convert TXT to Excel: The Ultimate 2024 Guide

Converting a text file to an Excel spreadsheet might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite straightforward. All you need is a text file with data separated by a delimiter, such as a comma, tab, or space, and Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program. With a few simple steps, you can quickly transform your plain text data into a structured, organized Excel file that’s easy to analyze and manipulate.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Convert TXT to Excel

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re accomplishing here. By following these instructions, you’ll learn how to import data from a text file into Excel, where it will be displayed in rows and columns for easier viewing and analysis.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel

Open the Microsoft Excel program on your computer to get started.

When you open Excel, you’ll be greeted with a blank workbook. This is where your data will appear once you’ve completed the import process.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Data’ tab

Click on the ‘Data’ tab in the Excel ribbon to find the tools we’ll need.

The ‘Data’ tab houses all the functions related to importing and managing data within Excel, including the ‘Get External Data’ group where the ‘From Text’ option is located.

Step 3: Select ‘From Text/CSV’

Choose the ‘From Text/CSV’ option in the ‘Get External Data’ group to import your text file.

Selecting this option will prompt you to locate and select the text file you wish to convert. Make sure you know where your file is saved on your computer.

Step 4: Browse and select your TXT file

Using the file explorer, find and select the TXT file you want to convert, then click ‘Import’.

Excel will then open a preview of the data and offer various options to customize how your data is imported. If your data is separated by a specific delimiter, this is where you can specify it.

Step 5: Set the delimiters and data type

In the import wizard, set the delimiters that match your text file and choose the appropriate data type for each column.

Delimiters are characters that separate your data into columns. Common delimiters include commas (CSV), tabs (TSV), and spaces. Excel will try to guess the correct delimiter, but you can also set it manually if needed.

Step 6: Finish the wizard and import the data

After setting the delimiters and data types, click ‘Finish’ to complete the import process.

Excel will now place your text file’s data into the spreadsheet, organized according to the delimiters you set. Each piece of data will be in its own cell, arranged in rows and columns.

After you complete these steps, your text file will be successfully converted into an Excel spreadsheet. The data will be neatly organized in cells, making it much easier for you to sort, filter, and analyze the information.

Tips for Converting TXT to Excel

  • Make sure your text file is clean and well-structured before importing it into Excel to avoid any formatting issues.
  • If your text file contains headers, ensure the ‘My data has headers’ option is checked during the import process.
  • Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature in Excel to further refine your data after importing if needed.
  • Save your Excel file in the .xlsx format to preserve the formatting and any formulas you might add.
  • Familiarize yourself with Excel’s data tools, like sorting and filtering, to make the most of your newly converted data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a delimiter?

A delimiter is a character that separates data in a text file, allowing programs like Excel to distinguish between different data entries.

Delimiters can include commas, tabs, semicolons, or spaces, and they play a crucial role in how your data is organized during the import process.

Can I convert a TXT file to Excel without Excel?

While Excel is one of the most common tools for this task, you can also use alternative spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets or LibreOffice Calc to convert a TXT file to Excel.

These programs offer similar import functions and should be able to handle your text files with ease.

What if my data doesn’t have a delimiter?

If your data doesn’t have a delimiter, you can still import it into Excel, but you may need to use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature to manually separate your data after import.

This feature allows you to set delimiters or fixed-width breaks to organize your data in the spreadsheet.

How can I ensure my data imports correctly?

To ensure your data imports correctly, review the text file beforehand to check for consistent delimiters and clean formatting. Also, use the preview window in Excel’s import wizard to make any necessary adjustments before completing the import.

Double-checking the data and making necessary adjustments in the import wizard can save you time and hassle later on.

Can I automate the TXT to Excel conversion process?

If you regularly convert TXT files to Excel, you can create a macro or use Excel’s Power Query feature to automate the process.

These tools can streamline repetitive tasks, making your workflow more efficient.


  1. Open Microsoft Excel.
  2. Go to the ‘Data’ tab.
  3. Select ‘From Text/CSV’.
  4. Browse and select your TXT file.
  5. Set the delimiters and data type.
  6. Finish the wizard and import the data.


Converting TXT files to Excel doesn’t have to be a headache. With the simple steps outlined above, you can easily turn your raw text data into a functional Excel spreadsheet that’s ready for analysis, sharing, or whatever else you might need it for. Remember, the key to a smooth conversion is having a clear and consistent structure in your text file. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that Excel’s powerful data management tools can bring new insights and efficiency to your work. If you’re looking to further enhance your Excel skills, plenty of online resources and tutorials can help you master everything from basic formulas to complex data analysis. So go ahead, give it a try and watch your data come to life in a whole new way!

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