Imagine a spreadsheet column containing a list of first and last names. To better filter this data, you might prefer to have the first and last names in two columns. Don’t worry – there’s an easy way to do this. Let’s learn how to separate first and last names in Microsoft Excel.
How to Separate First and Last Names in Excel
When you’re working with a column of first and last names, you can use Excel’s Text to Columns feature to separate the two. It’s quick to use, and you won’t have to retype anything.
To get started, select the cells in the column that you want to split. In this example, that’s cells B1:B5. Then, find the Data tab on Excel’s ribbon. Near the right, you’ll see the Text to Columns button.
Go ahead and click on it. You’ll see a popup menu appear. Excel recognizes your data as delimited, which means it has a divider like a space, tab, or comma. Ensure the Delimited bubble is selected, then click Next.
Excel now asks you to identify the delimiter. In this case, it’s a space, so click on the Space checkbox. In the box below, you’ll see your data previewed. First and last names now have a line between them.
Click Next again, and then click Finish in the lower right corner. Watch as Excel instantly splits first and last names. The first names remain in the original column, while last names appear in column C just to the right. Now, it’s easier to filter by first and last names, alphabetically, and more.
Thanks to Excel’s Text to Columns option, it’s easy to split first and last names into multiple cells. This makes data analysis a breeze, and saves you time by eliminating the need to retype a single character.