Single column of words to multiple cells - Office Word 2010

Posted on 2013-06-14
Last Modified: 2013-06-21
I have a multiple address entries separated by hard return and double hard return to next address.  The column is way to long and makes it run out to 165 pages.  I want to move all this info into three columns and however many rows it takes to have each address entry in its own cell.  How do I do this?
Question by:Scott Jackson
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 39248430
The trick is to get each address into a single paragraph so you can convert the whole lot to a table. Here's how:

1. Use Find and Replace to change ^p^p to ^0254. (This temporarily changes your double Enters to a special character, here þ.)

2. Use F&R to change ^p to ^0255. (This changes the remaining single Enters to a different special character, here ÿ.)

3. Use F&R to change ^0254 to ^p. (This restores the origianl double Enters to a single one so that all addresses are now single paragraphs.)

4. Select everything and use Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table to bring up the dialog to convert the text to a 3-column table using "Separate text at = Paragraph marks". You'll now have all addresses in a 3-column table (with as many rows as needed).

 5.  To restore the paragraph marks within each of your addresses, use F&R to change ^0255 back to ^p.

Note that you can use any special characters or combination of characters in the F&Rs. I've used þ and ÿ because they are unlikely to be found in documents I work with. You can enter them in the F&R boxes as shown (i.e ^0255) or by pressing Alt and the same four digits on the numeric keypad.

The other alternative is to select everything you have and set it in a 3-column page layout by using Page Layout > Columns. This is perhaps the easiest method if all you want to do is reduce the number of pages; the method above will do what you asked (i.e. make a 3-column table).
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 39248472
What I usually do is:

1. change the double hard returns (^p^p) to double line returns (^l^l)

2. change the remaining single hard returns (^p) to tabs (^t)

3. change the double line returns (^l^l) back to SINGLE hard returns (^p)

4. select all the lines with the tabs and Insert table

LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 39248544
paulsauve: Your method will work fine if all addresses are an even number of lines (i.e. if they are all 3 lines, you'd end up with a 3-column table with each column containing, say, name, address, city & state & zipcode). However, the OP wanted to "to have each address entry in its own cell."

StoneyJ50: If your addresses are structured in a very regular way, paulsauve's method could be a better option than having each address in a cell as requested. If you wanted to use Word's mail merge functions, the resulting table could be used as the data document. A header above each column would provide the names for the merge fields.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 39248587

I understand what you did - each cell of the table contains one address, no matter how many lines in each address of the original list! Good algorithm! I assumed that each address had 3 lines, thus StoneyJ50 wanted 3 columns.

Author Comment

by:Scott Jackson
ID: 39248600
I am adding a screen shot to clarify what I am trying to do.  If I was confusing in my original post I apologize.  I want all of the 3-5 lines of each set to be in its own cell.
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

Eric Fletcher earned 500 total points
ID: 39248699
My procedure will put each address into its own cell no matter how many lines each includes. I've attached the result of using your sample data with the steps I outlined above; as you'll see, each of the 4 addresses are in a cell of the 3x2 table. When Word creates a table from text, it fills each column for as many rows as needed.

Your screen shot shows just a single column table, so if you want that just choose "1" as the number of columns to use in the dialog (instead of the 3 as I've used in the screen capture below).Converting selection to a 3-column tableIf you do create a single column table, you can still reduce the number of pages to print by changing the page layout to a 2- or 3-column layout.

Author Comment

by:Scott Jackson
ID: 39248828
Thanks I will plug away at this later and get back with results.

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