Google Sheets Gets Improved Text To Columns Feature

One of the challenges of working with spreadsheets is if you want to import text into that spreadsheet from another document.  Often times it is imported with no problem but getting it organized into columns can be a painful experience.  The Google Docs team is trying to make that process a bit easier with an update they have introduced to Google Sheets online.  Now when you import text, you can highlight the columns you want to separate the text to in your spreadsheet thanks to a new “split text to columns” option.

In testing out the feature it works quite well.  To start, highlight the text from the document you want to import into the Google Sheets worksheet and copy it to your clipboard.  Now go to Sheets and paste that text into the spreadsheet.  Next, highlight the column that the text is in along with the other columns you want to spread it out to in the sheet.  Doing this will bring up a contextual

Google Sheets in Chrome on a PC
Google Sheets in Chrome on a PC

menu in the lower right corner where you will find the “split text to columns” feature.  Click it and your text should go across the columns you have selected.  It isn’t perfect, especially if you have long sentences you are trying to split across the columns – but then again, that isn’t really the point of this feature anyway.  If you have say an address list with first and last names, addresses and email addresses, it works amazingly well.

It should be noted that the announcement of this new feature was applicable to the online version of Sheets only.  The Android and iOS apps do not have this feature – yet at least.  Also, the update will take a few days to roll out to all users so if you aren’t seeing the new option just yet, it is coming to you.