How to Separate Numbers from Text in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Separating numbers from text in Excel can seem tricky, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you know how. It’s a handy skill to have, especially if you’re dealing with data that’s all jumbled together. You could be working with a list of product codes, or maybe you’re trying to organize a messy spreadsheet. Whatever the case, with a few simple steps, you can extract numbers from text quickly and efficiently.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Separate Numbers from Text in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re trying to achieve. Excel does not have a direct function to separate numbers from text, but we can use a combination of functions to accomplish this task. Here we go!

Step 1: Identify the cell with the text and numbers

Select the cell that contains the text and numbers you want to separate.

This is the starting point. Make sure you’ve selected the correct cell because this process will only apply to the data within that cell.

Step 2: Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature

Go to the Data tab on the ribbon and click on ‘Text to Columns’.

‘Text to Columns’ is a powerful tool in Excel that allows you to split the contents of a cell into multiple cells based on specific criteria.

Step 3: Select ‘Delimited’ and click ‘Next’

Choose the ‘Delimited’ option in the wizard that appears and then click on the ‘Next’ button.

Delimited means that the data is separated by a character such as a comma, space, or tab. In our case, we’re assuming that the numbers and text are not separated by any consistent character, so we might not use this feature just yet.

Step 4: Deselect all delimiters and click ‘Next’

Uncheck all the delimiter options and click ‘Next’ again.

Since we’re not using a consistent delimiter, this step ensures that Excel does not attempt to separate our data based on those.

Step 5: Choose the ‘Text’ column data format and click ‘Finish’

Finally, set the column data format to ‘Text’ and click ‘Finish’.

This step ensures that Excel treats the numbers we’re extracting as text, which is necessary for the next part of the process.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have your numbers separated from the text, ready to be used however you need.

Tips: Enhancing Your Experience with Numbers and Text in Excel

  • Always have a backup of your original data before attempting to separate numbers from text.
  • If the numbers and text are consistently separated by a specific character, use the ‘Delimited’ option and select the appropriate delimiter.
  • Utilize Excel functions like LEFT, MID, and RIGHT to extract specific parts of the cell content if ‘Text to Columns’ does not work for your data.
  • Familiarize yourself with Excel’s ‘LEN’ and ‘VALUE’ functions for more complex data separation tasks.
  • Practice with different datasets to become more comfortable with the separation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data has different formats in different cells?

If your dataset isn’t consistent, you might have to repeat the process for each format type or use a combination of Excel functions to automate the process as much as possible.

Can I use formulas to separate numbers from text?

Yes, Excel has several functions that can be combined to extract numbers from text, such as LEFT, MID, and RIGHT, depending on the position of the numbers in the text.

Will the ‘Text to Columns’ function work with dates and times?

Yes, ‘Text to Columns’ can separate dates and times if they are formatted consistently.

How do I prevent leading zeros from disappearing when separating numbers?

Choose the ‘Text’ format in the final step of the ‘Text to Columns’ wizard to ensure that any leading zeros are preserved.

Is there a way to automate this process for multiple cells at once?

Yes, by using Excel’s functions or by recording a macro while you perform the separation on a single cell, you can automate the process for multiple cells.


  1. Identify the cell with the text and numbers.
  2. Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature.
  3. Select ‘Delimited’ and click ‘Next’.
  4. Deselect all delimiters and click ‘Next’.
  5. Choose the ‘Text’ column data format and click ‘Finish’.


Separating numbers from text in Excel might seem daunting at first, but once you’ve got the hang of the process, it’s a breeze. With the ‘Text to Columns’ wizard and a few clever tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to tidy up your data in no time. Remember, Excel is a powerful tool, and learning to use its features effectively can save you loads of time and effort. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel pro or just getting started, mastering the art of data separation will make your spreadsheet tasks much easier. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your data transform before your eyes!

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