How to import a text file in Excel

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In Excel, we can easily convert a text file to an Excel file in order to work with the data in the text file. This is not as hard as we might want to believe. Note that information can be better presented in an Excel file as compared to a text file. Things like contact information is bound to have a lot of errors if presented in a text format. This article looks at the procedure of importing text files to Excel.

Method 1: Copy and paste to import txt to Excel

Even though this is not the best method of importing text files, it can actually save you a lot of time trying to think of what when converting a text file to Excel.

To change text to Excel through copy-paste, all you have to do is copy the text by highlighting it using keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A, then copying the contents by pressing Ctrl + C and then pasting it on the spreadsheet by pressing Ctrl + V.

Alternatively, you can highlight the contents by clicking on the very first word of the text and then holding the mouse down and dragging it across to highlight the content. Then right-click on the content to get the menu where you can select copy. The last thing will be to go to the sheet and right-click then select paste.

Notice that for you to import text to Excel using this method, then the data should first be separated by tabs.

Method 2: Importing data to Excel from text

Excel has a text data import add-in that can help us avoid all the tedious work of copy and pasting.

Figure 1: Text data import add-in

Using this option to import text data to Excel is actually the best and easiest method. When we click on the option, we shall be presented with an option to select the text file to import. After selecting the text to be converted to Excel, we shall see a text import wizard Excel.

In the Excel text import wizard, all we need to do is to click on Next twice, then on Finish.

Figure 2: Text import wizard

After clicking Finish, you shall be prompted to specify where you want to put the data. Usually, the cell selected is treated as the top left corner of the data that you want to import from text to Excel. After specifying where the data should be put, click ok to have the data imported from text to Excel.

Figure 3: Import data window