- Open Microsoft Excel
- Select File, Open from the menu bar
- Browse to the file containing the data to parse and click Open
Note: If the data is not in Excel format, in the Open window, select All Files (*.*) in the Files of Type field.
- Highlight the data to parse
- Select Data, Text to Columns... from the menu bar
- The Convert Text to Columns wizard appears
- On step 1, select Delimited and click Next
- On step 2, select the appropriate character by which to delimit: Tab, Semicolon, Comma, Space, or Other. (You may need to deselect Tab.) Leave the text qualifier set to the double quotation marks ("). Click Next.
- On step 3, select the data format for each column: General, Text, Date, or Do import column (skip)
- Click Finish. The text is now parsed.
For example, let's say that we are importing a Birthdate file and need to only sort by Month. Follow these steps:
1. Export the Birthdays to Excel (they will be in the format: 12/15/1983).
2. Highlight the entire birthdate column and click Data from the menu bar.
3. Select 'Text to Columns.'
4. Choose Delimited and click Next.
5. Under Delimiters, uncheck the Tab box and check Other. Type / in the other box. (This uses / as the field separator, and will break up the month, day, and year into separate columns).
6. Change the Text Qualifier to 'None' and click Next.
7. Highlight each of the tabs under the Data Preview and click the 'Text' option for each.
8. Click Finish.
9. The month, day, and year are now in separate columns and you can sort the first column (month) in ascending or descending order.