Excel – Split long column into multiple columns by empty cell

microsoft excel

So I have data, that once imported into excel looks like this:




I want the data to look like this:

1 A !
2 B @
3 C #
4 D $

All the data is in one column, and each new set of data is offset by an empty cell. All I want to do is be able to split that one column into multiple columns, creating a new column at every empty cell. Each time I record data, there will be an equal number of data entries in each set, but they are not of the same type, and between recordings there can be different numbers of entries in each set. Basically, all I want to have happen is excel goes down the column, and when it finds an empty cell, it copies all remaining data over to the next column and then looks for the next empty cell, at which point it will do the same thing until there are 2 empty cells in a row.

Searching how to do this is extremely annoying because I keep getting text to column results, which isn't what I want.

Thanks in advance.

Best Answer

I would recommmend preprocessing the data before importing them into Excel.

However I created procedure in VBA that does what you want:

To install the macro

Open Excel -> Alt+F11 -> Insert -> Module -> paste the following code -> Ctrl+S -> and select 'Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook (*.xlsm)' from the drop-down list

Sub ToManyColumns()
    Dim firstCellRow As Long
    firstCellRow = 1              'change this if you don't want to start at A1
    Dim firstCellColumn As Long
    firstCellColumn = 1           'change this if you don't want to start at A1
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    ActiveSheet.Cells(firstCellRow, firstCellColumn).Activate
    Dim column As Long
    column = firstCellColumn
    Dim startIndex As Long
    Dim endIndex As Long
    Dim lastRow As Long
    lastRow = firstCellRow
    Do While True
        'find the range to copy
        startIndex = ActiveCell.row
        Do While ActiveCell.Value <> ""
            endIndex = ActiveCell.row
        lastRow = ActiveCell.row
        Range(Cells(startIndex, firstCellColumn), Cells(endIndex, firstCellColumn)).Select
        Cells(firstCellRow, column).Select
        Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues
        'get back to last rowIndex
        Cells(lastRow, firstCellColumn).Activate
        If ActiveCell.Value = "" Then Exit Do
        column = column + 1
    'cleanUp -------------------------------------------
    Dim deleteFrom As Long
    Dim deleteTo As Long
    deleteTo = ActiveCell.row
    ActiveSheet.Cells(firstCellRow, firstCellColumn).Activate
    Do While ActiveCell.Value <> ""
    deleteFrom = ActiveCell.row
    Range(Cells(deleteFrom, firstCellColumn), Cells(deleteTo, firstCellColumn)).Select
    ActiveSheet.Cells(firstCellRow, firstCellColumn).Activate
    'cleanUp -------------------------------------------
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

To run the macro:

  1. Make sure that you're in the worksheet you want to be! And click anywhere into the worksheet! (Because this macro runs in the Activated Worksheet)
  2. Alt+F11 -> Click anywhere into the code -> press F5

You can also create a button in the worksheet and assign the macro to it - it's more user-friendly and you don't have to check that you're in the right worksheet.


If you don't want the macro to start at cell A1 (for example: start at different column), then change the numbers on 3rd and 5th lines.

For this purpose it's better to preprocess the data than use macros...

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