How to Do Delimited in Excel


Microsoft Excel uses an extensible markup language, or XML, format with the file extensions XLSX or XLSM. Not all programs support this format. For maximum compatibility between programs, you may need to format your Excel spreadsheet as a delimited text file, which removes all formatting and contains only cell values. Excel also contains a text import feature, which imports delimited text files into an Excel spreadsheet.

Import Delimited File

  • Click the "Data" tab in Excel and select "From Text" in the Get External Data group. The Text Import Wizard opens.

  • Select "Delimited" from the Original Data Type section and click "Next."

  • Select the type of delimiter, such as "Tab," "Semicolon," "Comma" or "Space." Alternatively, enter a special delimiter by checking "Other" and manually entering the delimiter in the space provided. A preview appears in the lower half of the window that shows how data columns are separated. Click "Next."

  • Select any column from the Preview section and choose the appropriate data format from the top Column Data Format section.

  • Click "Finish" to import the data into Excel.

Export Delimited File

  • Open your spreadsheet in Excel. Click the "File" tab and select "Save As."

  • Click the "Save As Type" drop-down menu and select a delimited format. Common delimited formats include tab, comma and space delimited, and may use the extensions TXT or CSV.

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  • Click "Save" to export your spreadsheet in the new format.

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