Organizing Data. How to Split Cells in Google Sheets

Manual Method: Splitting Cells in Google Sheets #

Splitting cells in Google Sheets allows you to divide the contents of a cell into separate columns or rows. This can be useful for organizing data or extracting specific information. Here's how you can do it manually:

  1. Open your Google Sheets document and navigate to the sheet containing the cells you want to split.

  2. Select the cell or range of cells you want to split. To select multiple cells, click and drag your cursor across the desired cells, or hold down the Shift key while clicking individual cells.

  3. Go to the Data menu and click on Split text to columns. Alternatively, you can right-click on the selected cells and choose Split text to columns from the context menu.

  4. In the Split text to columns dialog box that appears, choose the desired delimiter. This is the character or string that separates the data within the cell. Common delimiters include commas, tabs, and spaces. You can also select Custom and enter a specific delimiter if needed.

  5. Choose whether you want to split the data into separate columns or rows. By default, the data will be split into columns, but you can check the Transpose option to split it into rows instead.

  6. Click on Split to apply the changes. The original cell contents will be split into separate cells based on the chosen delimiter.

Google Apps Script Method: Automated Cell Splitting #

If you frequently need to split cells in Google Sheets or want to automate the process, you can use Google Apps Script. Here's an example script that splits the cells in a specified range:

function splitCells() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var range = sheet.getRange("A1:A5"); // Change the range to fit your needs

// Iterate through each cell in the range
range.getValues().forEach(function(row) {
var cellValue = row[0].toString();
var splitValues = cellValue.split(","); // Change the delimiter as needed

// Clear the original cell content

// Write the split values back to separate cells
splitValues.forEach(function(value, index) {
sheet.getRange(range.getRow() + index, range.getColumn()).setValue(value.trim());

To use this script:

  1. Open your Google Sheets document and navigate to the sheet containing the cells you want to split.

  2. Go to the Extensions menu and choose Apps Script. This will open the Apps Script editor in a new tab.

  3. Clear the existing code in the editor and paste the provided script.

  4. Modify the range.getRange("A1:A5") line to specify the range of cells you want to split. You can use A1 notation or modify it according to your needs.

  5. Modify the var splitValues = cellValue.split(",") line to define the delimiter you want to use. Change the comma to another character or string if needed.

  6. Click on the Save button to save the script.

  7. Return to your Google Sheets document, and the splitCells function will be available in the Extensions menu.

  8. Click on the splitCells function to execute the script and split the selected cells based on your specified range and delimiter.

Use Case Examples #

  • Splitting full names into separate first name and last name columns
  • Separating addresses into individual columns for street, city, state, and postal code
  • Extracting email addresses from a single cell containing multiple emails, and splitting them into separate columns
  • Splitting a URL into individual columns for protocol, domain, and file path

Splitting cells in Google Sheets can greatly assist in organizing and working with data more efficiently. Whether you choose to do it manually or utilize Google Apps Script for automation, this feature provides flexibility and increases productivity in managing data within your spreadsheets.

(You can learn how to split first and last names in Google Sheets by)splitting cells into first and last names.
(To join tables in Google Sheets, you can follow these steps:)join tables in Google Sheets.
(If you need to get data from another sheet in Google Sheets, you can)retrieve data from another sheet.