Let’s set the scene. You have a column in an Excel worksheet which contains a list of names, first name and last name all together. You want to split these into two columns, one for First name and one for last. How do you do this? Well one way is to use the Excel Text to Columns option.

Start by inserting a couple of columns to the right of the column which contains the names. Select the column containing the names and, in Excel 2007, click the Data tab on the Ribbon and choose Text to Columns. Step through the Wizard. In the first step choose Delimited and in Step 2 choose Space. Click Finish and answer Yes to the prompt to overwrite data. You will now have the data in two columns. You’ll be able to remove the extra column you have there – it’s best to add too many blank columns and later remove those you don’t need because if you don’t, you’ll run the risk of losing the columns to the right of where you are working.

This is a simple and very fast solution for a name splitting problem.

Helen Bradley