How to Split a Cell in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Splitting a cell in Excel might seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the steps. By splitting a cell, you can divide one cell into multiple cells either horizontally or vertically. This is super handy when you have data that needs to be separated for better organization and analysis.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Split a Cell in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. Splitting a cell in Excel is helpful when you want to break down the contents of one cell into multiple cells. For example, if you have a full name in one cell and you want to separate it into first and last name, splitting the cell is the way to go.

Step 1: Select the Cell You Want to Split

Choose the cell that contains the data you want to split.

After selecting the cell, make sure it’s the correct one because once you split a cell, it can be a bit of a hassle to undo it.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Data’ Tab

Click on the ‘Data’ tab located on the ribbon at the top of Excel.

The ‘Data’ tab is where you’ll find all the tools you need to manage your data, including the ‘Text to Columns’ feature which is what we’ll use to split the cell.

Step 3: Click on ‘Text to Columns’

In the ‘Data’ tab, you’ll see an option for ‘Text to Columns.’ Click on it.

‘Text to Columns’ is a wizard that guides you through the process of dividing the contents of a cell into separate columns.

Step 4: Choose the ‘Delimited’ Option

In the wizard that appears, select the ‘Delimited’ option and click ‘Next.’

By choosing ‘Delimited,’ you’re telling Excel to split the cell based on a specific character or space that separates the data.

Step 5: Select Your Delimiter

Check the box next to the delimiter that applies to your data (comma, space, tab, etc.) and click ‘Next.’

The delimiter is what Excel will look for as the indicator of where to split the data. Make sure to choose the one that matches how your data is separated.

Step 6: Select the Destination

Choose where you want the new cells to appear by selecting the ‘Destination’ box and then clicking on the cell where you want them to start.

You can choose to have the new cells overwrite the original cell or start in a new location.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully split your cell into multiple new cells! Your data will now be organized in a way that’s easier to manage and analyze.

Tips for Splitting Cells in Excel

  • Always make sure to backup your data before splitting cells, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Double-check the delimiter you select. Choosing the wrong one can mess up your data.
  • If you have multiple cells to split, you can select all of them at once and then follow the same steps.
  • Remember that ‘Text to Columns’ can also be used to merge cells if you ever need to do the opposite.
  • Use the ‘Undo’ feature immediately if you split a cell by mistake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I split a cell diagonally in Excel?

No, Excel doesn’t support diagonal splitting of cells. You can only split cells horizontally or vertically.

What happens if I choose the wrong delimiter?

If you choose the wrong delimiter, Excel will split the cell incorrectly. You can use the ‘Undo’ feature to try again with the correct delimiter.

Can I split a cell into more than two cells?

Yes, you can split a cell into as many cells as you need, as long as there is a delimiter for Excel to use as a reference.

Will splitting a cell affect the formatting of my data?

Splitting a cell won’t affect the content’s formatting, but you might need to adjust column widths and cell formatting afterward.

Can I use ‘Text to Columns’ with data that’s not text-based?

‘Text to Columns’ is designed for text-based data, but it can work with numbers if they’re formatted as text in Excel.


  1. Select the cell you want to split.
  2. Click on the ‘Data’ tab.
  3. Choose ‘Text to Columns.’
  4. Select the ‘Delimited’ option.
  5. Choose your delimiter.
  6. Decide on the destination for the new cells.


Splitting a cell in Excel is a nifty trick that can save you a ton of time and make your data look clean and organized. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who loves to keep their spreadsheets tidy, knowing how to split cells is a game-changer. With the easy-to-follow steps outlined in this article, you’ll be splitting cells like a pro in no time. Plus, with the added tips and frequently asked questions, you’re well-equipped to handle any cell-splitting scenario. So go ahead, give it a try and watch your Excel skills level up! And remember, if you ever get stuck, the ‘Undo’ button is your best friend. Happy splitting!

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