[Okta Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now


Excel - Do not want automatic Text to Columns

Posted on 2011-10-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12

When I paste information from a text file into an Excel spreadsheet, the data gets automatically separated into columns.

Is there a way to prevent this? I have already tried to change the format of the worksheet.

Thank you.
Question by:tahirih
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 37008442
Can you provide an example file?  Is there a reason why you do not open the file directly from excel and use the conversion tool to map the columns if any needed?
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

redmondb earned 2000 total points
ID: 37009378
Hi, tahirih.

Without seeing you text file, I suspect that it is using tabs. When you paste the data into Excel, it uses the Text to Column delimiter setting - which defaults to the tab. You could bypass this by changing the setting to have no delimiter and so Excel would treat the tab as just another character.

There are a couple of problems with this approach...
(1) When Excel loads, it resets the delimiter default back to tab.
(2) Excel doesn't handle the tab character in a cell very well. There's no visible sign that it's there - until you edit it, when peculiar things happen.

Echoing ajcheung78's request, could you post an example of both the source test file (just a few entries and changed as necessary for confidentiality) plus the desired Excel results?



Author Closing Comment

ID: 37221378
Thank you.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 37223436
Thanks, tahirih.

Featured Post

Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Some code to ensure data integrity when using macros within Excel. Also included code that helps secure your data within an Excel workbook.
Do you use a spreadsheet like Microsoft's Excel?  Have you ever wanted to link out to a non excel file on your computer or network drive?  This is the way I found to do it!
The viewer will learn how to use the =DISCRINV command to create a discrete random variable, use this command to model a set of probabilities and outcomes in a Monte Carlo simulation, and learn how to find the standard deviation of a set of probabil…
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate how to create pivot charts out of a data set. I also added a drop-down menu which allows to choose from different categories in the data set and the chart will automatically update.

873 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question