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

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data, but sometimes you may encounter a situation where you need to separate text from numbers within a cell. This can be a bit tricky, but fear not! With a few simple steps, you can easily split those mixed cells into separate columns for text and numbers.

After completing the action of separating text from numbers, each element will be neatly organized in its own column. This will allow for easier data analysis and manipulation, providing clarity and precision for your Excel projects.


Separating text from numbers in Excel is a common task for many users, especially those who work with data that comes in various formats. Think about it, you’re working with a list that includes product codes like “T100” or “R200”, and you need to analyze the numbers separately from the letters. This can be a headache if you’re manually trying to extract the information. But don’t worry, Excel has got you covered!

Understanding how to separate text from numbers is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for more accurate data analysis. Numbers and text often need to be treated differently when performing calculations or creating reports. Secondly, it can save a significant amount of time and reduce the risk of errors that come with manual extraction. Lastly, it’s a skill that’s relevant to a variety of users – from business analysts and data scientists to educators and students. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, mastering this Excel trick is sure to come in handy.

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

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we are trying to achieve. We want to split a single column that contains a mix of text and numbers into two separate columns – one for text and one for numbers.

Step 1: Select the column you want to separate

Click on the header of the column that contains the mixed data.

Selecting the correct column is crucial. Ensure no other columns are highlighted to avoid unintended changes to your data.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Data’ tab and click ‘Text to Columns’

Navigate to the ‘Data’ tab on the Excel ribbon and find the ‘Text to Columns’ feature.

The ‘Text to Columns’ wizard is a powerful tool that can be used to separate or convert columnar data based on specific criteria.

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

In the wizard, select the ‘Delimited’ option as it allows you to separate data based on characters like commas, spaces, or tabs.

Choosing ‘Delimited’ gives you the flexibility to specify the exact point where you want the text to separate from the numbers.

Step 4: Select the delimiter that separates your text and numbers, then click ‘Next’

If your data doesn’t have a clear delimiter like a comma or a tab, often a space will work if the text and numbers are not joined. If the text and numbers are joined, uncheck all delimiters.

Correctly identifying the delimiter is key. If your data isn’t separated by spaces, commas, or any other delimiter, you may need to use a different method.

Step 5: Choose the data format for your new columns and click ‘Finish’

For the text column, select ‘Text’, and for the numbers, choose ‘General’. Then, click ‘Finish’ to execute the separation.

Choosing the correct data format ensures that numbers stay numbers and text remains text, preventing any unintended conversions.


Improved Data AnalysisSeparating text from numbers makes it easier to perform calculations and statistical analysis, leading to more accurate results.
Increased EfficiencyThis process significantly reduces the time spent on manual data entry or correction, thus increasing overall workflow efficiency.
Enhanced Data OrganizationIt provides a cleaner dataset which can be easier to read, understand, and manipulate for various purposes.


Potential Data LossIf not done carefully, there’s a risk of losing or misplacing data during the separation process.
Learning CurveFor Excel beginners, understanding and using the ‘Text to Columns’ feature might require an initial learning effort.
Limited to DelimitersThis method relies on having delimiters to separate the text from the numbers, which may not always be present.

Additional Information

When dealing with data in Excel, you might come across more complex scenarios where the standard ‘Text to Columns’ method doesn’t quite cut it. In such cases, you may need to resort to Excel functions such as LEFT, RIGHT, or MID combined with functions like LEN and FIND to extract specific portions of your data. These functions allow you to pinpoint the exact location of the text and numbers, giving you more control over how you separate them.

Remember, the key to successfully separating text from numbers in Excel lies in understanding the structure of your data and choosing the right method or combination of methods to accomplish your goal. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different functions and features to find the best solution for your specific needs.


  1. Select the column with mixed data
  2. Click ‘Text to Columns’ in the ‘Data’ tab
  3. Choose ‘Delimited’
  4. Specify the delimiter
  5. Set the data format and click ‘Finish’

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data doesn’t have a clear delimiter?

If there’s no clear delimiter, you might need to use Excel’s functions like LEFT, RIGHT, or MID in combination with LEN and FIND to separate your data.

Can I separate text and numbers if they are joined without any delimiter?

Yes, but you’ll need to use Excel’s text functions like LEFT, RIGHT, or MID, which can be a bit more complex.

Will my original data be modified during the separation process?

The ‘Text to Columns’ feature does modify the original column. It’s a good practice to make a copy of your data before performing any major changes.

Can I undo the separation if I make a mistake?

Yes, Excel allows you to undo recent actions by pressing Ctrl + Z or by clicking the undo button in the toolbar.

Is there a limit to how much data I can separate using this method?

While there’s no specific limit, performance may decrease with very large datasets. In such cases, it’s advisable to split the data into smaller portions.


Mastering the skill of separating text from numbers in Excel can be a game-changer for anyone who regularly works with mixed data. It not only saves time and reduces the potential for errors but also allows for more sophisticated data analysis and reporting. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a beginner, taking the time to familiarize yourself with the ‘Text to Columns’ feature and Excel functions is a worthwhile investment.

With practice, patience, and a bit of experimentation, you’ll be splitting those tricky cells like a pro in no time. Keep this guide handy, and the next time you’re faced with a jumble of letters and numbers, you’ll know exactly what to do.

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