Separate First and Last names in an Excel Spreadsheet

Sometimes when working with a spreadsheet of contacts you’ll have the first and last names in the same column but need to have them separated to import into a particular program (like your website).

Here are instructions on how to separate the first and last names into separate columns on an Excel spreadsheet:

  1. Open the spreadsheet
  2. Click on the column letter to the right of the column that has the first and last names in it (this will highlight the column next to the names)
  3. Now go to Insert on the top menu bar and click Columns (repeat this step a few times so you get a couple extra columns to the right of the first and last name column)
  4. Now click on the letter A at the top of the first column to highlight the first and last name column
  5. then click Data from the top menu bar and from the dropdown click Text to Columns…
  6. Now a pop up window will appear – click the Next button
  7. on the next screen in the pop up click the check box ‘Space’ then click the Next button
  8. on the next screen of the popup just click the Finish button
  9. Then you will be asked if you want to replace the destination cells – click OK
  10. Now back on the spreadsheet you should see the first and last names separated into more than one column. You may notice that in a third column are some extra names.
    *For example: if you had a person’s middle name or maiden name in the first column in addition to their first and last name before you performed the Text to Columns function, it will have separated the name into three columns instead of two. (notice client Deborah Ralph Jerome in below screenshot) So you will now need to do a little cleanup to perfect your spreadsheet.
  11. Edit your spreadsheet so that the middle name, maiden name or spouse name follows behind the first name. Then put the last name in the last name field.
    Repeat until the spreadsheet is perfect
    (Notice client Deborah Ralph Jerome in below screenshot has been fixed to have first names in the first name field and last name in the last name field)
  12. When done with cleanup you can delete any extra empty columns in the spreadsheet by: Right-click on the letter at the top of the empty column you want to remove. Then left click on the word Delete from the pop-up menu. The empty column will be deleted.
  13. Be sure to click Save to Save the updated spreadsheet (which should now have first names and last names in separate columns!

QUESTIONS? Email HelpDesk@discoverstl.com

Jana Rice – Prudential Select Properties – Marketing/eBusiness

314.835.6042 – DiscoverStL.com

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