Split a column of text (Power Query)

  This article applies to Power Query, a data analysis feature available for Excel that lets you discover, combine and refine data. You may need to enable Power Query in Excel. You can also download and install the most recent version of Power Query for Excel, which automatically enables it. Power Query technology is also built into the Power BI Designer, which is a stand-alone report authoring and data transformation tool for Power BI.

Note   For a very quick video on how to display Query Editor, see the end of this article.

Using the Query Editor in Power Query, a column of text can be split into multiple columns in two ways: by delimiter or by a number of characters.

I want to

Split a column by delimiter

Split a column by position

Split a column by delimiter

Split Column > By Delimiter parses a text value based on a common character into two or more columns. For example, a Name column as LastName, FirstName can be split into two columns based on the comma (,) character.

Using the Query Editor ribbon

  1. Select the column you want to split.

  2. In the Query Editor ribbon, select Split Column > By Delimiter.

Using the Query Editor context menu

  1. Right-click the column header you want to split.

  2. In the column context menu, select Split Column > By Delimiter.


To split a column by delimiter

  1. In the Split a column by delimiter dialog box:

    1. In the Select or enter a delimiter drop-down, select Colon, Comma, Equals Sign, Semicolon, Space, Tab, or Custom. Select Custom to specify any character delimiter.

    2. Select a Split option.

    3. Expand Show advanced options, and enter the Number of columns to split into.

  2. Select OK.

  3. Rename the new columns to more meaningful names. For more information about how to rename a column, see Rename a column.

  1. In the Split a column by delimiter dialog box:

    1. In the Select or enter a delimiter drop-down, select Colon, Comma, Equals Sign, Semicolon, Space, Tab, or Custom. Select Custom to specify any character delimiter.

    2. Select a Split option.

    3. Expand Show advanced options, and enter the Number of columns to split into.

  2. Select OK.

  3. Rename the new columns to more meaningful names. For more information about how to rename a column, see Rename a column.

Top of Page

Split a column by position

Split Column > By Number of Characters parses a text value based on a character position within a text value.

Using the Query Editor ribbon menu

  1. Select the column you want to split.

  2. In the Query Editor ribbon, click Split Column > By Number of Characters.

Using the Query Editor context menu

  1. Right-click the column header you want to split.

  2. In the column context menu, select Split Column > By Number of Characters


To split a column by position

  1. In the Split a column by position dialog box:

    1. In the Number of character textbox, enter the number of characters used to split the text column.

    2. Select a Split option.

    3. Expand Show advanced options, and enter the Number of columns to split into.

  2. Click OK.

  3. Rename the new columns to more meaningful names. For more information about how to rename a column, see Rename a column.

  1. In the Split a column by position dialog box:

    1. In the Number of character textbox, enter the number of characters used to split the text column.

    2. Select a Split option.

    3. Expand Show advanced options, and enter the Number of columns to split into.

  2. Click OK.

  3. Rename the new columns to more meaningful names. For more information about how to rename a column, see Rename a column.

Top of Page

Note   The Query Editor only appears when you load, edit, or create a new query using Power Query. The following video shows the Query Editor window appearing after editing a query from an Excel workbook. To view the Query Editor without loading or editing an existing workbook query, from the Get External Data section in the Power Query ribbon tab, select From Other Sources > Blank Query. The following video shows one way to display the Query Editor.

How to see Query Editor in Excel

Applies To: Excel 2010, Excel 2013



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language