Excel Formula to Split String by Comma (5 Examples)

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You may have a table in your Excel worksheet where several kinds of data are kept in a cell and separated by commas. If you want to split them into several columns, you are in a right place. In this article, you will learn 5 examples of Excel formula to split string by comma.


How to Split String by Comma with Excel Formula: 5 Examples

Let’s introduce first our dataset where ID no., LastName, and Dept. are kept as a single string separated by commas. Our goal is to split the strings into 3 columns.

5 Examples to Split String by Comma with Excel Formula


1. Combine LEFT and FIND Functions to Split String by Comma

Combining LEFT and FIND functions together helps us to split a string separated by commas into several columns. Just follow the steps below to do this.

Steps:

  • First, write down the following formula in an empty cell C5.
=LEFT(B5,FIND(",",B5)-1)

Here, the FIND function gives the location of the first comma from the string B5 and the LEFT function returns the characters from the string which is before the first comma. You need to minus 1 to get the data excluding the comma.

Combine LEFT and FIND Functions to Split String by Comma

  • Press ENTER. You will see ID no. at Cell C5. Now, drag the Fill Handle to get the rest of the ID no. in the same column.

Here is the result,

Combine LEFT and FIND Functions to Split String by Comma (Result)


2. Formula with MID and FIND Functions to Split String in Excel

Combining MID and FIND functions together helps us to split a string separated by commas into several columns. Just follow the steps below to do this.

Steps:

  • First, write down the following formula in an empty cell D5.
=MID(B5,FIND(",",B5)+1,FIND(",",B5,FIND(",",B5)+1)-FIND(",",B5)-1)

Here, FIND(“,”,B5)+1 gives the starting location of the 1st character after the 1st comma.

FIND(“,”, B5, FIND(“,”, B5)+1) gives the starting location of the 1st character after the 2nd comma.

-FIND(“,”, B5)-1 excludes all the characters of the string after the 2nd comma.

Finally, the MID returns the characters between these two commas.

Formula with MID and FIND Functions to Split String in Excel

  • Press ENTER. You will see the LastName in Cell D5. Now, drag the Fill Handle to get the rest of the LastNames in the same column.

Here is the result,

Formula with MID and FIND Functions to Split String in Excel (Result)


3. Unite RIGHT and FIND Functions

Combining RIGHT and FIND functions together helps us to split a string separated by commas into several columns. Just follow the steps below to do this.

Steps:

  • First, write down the following formula in an empty cell E5.
=RIGHT(B5,LEN(B5)-FIND(",",B5,FIND(",",B5)+1))

Here, LEN(B5) determines the length of the string in cell B5.

The FIND(“,”, B5, FIND(“,”, B5)+1 gives the location of the last comma from the string, and finally, the RIGHT function returns the characters from the string which is after the last comma.

Unite RIGHT and FIND Functions

  • Press ENTER. You will see the Dept. at Cell E5. Now, drag the Fill Handle to get the rest of the Dept. in the same column.

Here is the result,

Unite RIGHT and FIND Functions (Result)


4. Combine TRIM, MID, SUBSTITUTE, REPT, and LEN Functions

Combining TRIM, MID, SUBSTITUTE, REPT, and LEN functions together helps us to split a string separated by commas into several columns. Just follow the steps below to do this.

Steps:

  • First, enter 1, 2, and 3 instead of columns titles ID No., LastName, and Dept. Now, write down the following formula in an empty cell C5.
=TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE($B5,",",REPT(" ",LEN($B5))),(C$4-1)*LEN($B5)+1,LEN($B5)))

The summary of this formula is to replace the commas with spaces using SUBSTITUTE and REPT functions. Then, the MID function returns text related to the nth occurrence and finally, the TRIM function helps to get rid of the extra spaces.

Combine TRIM, MID, SUBSTITUTE, REPT, and LEN Functions

  • Press ENTER. You will see ID no. at Cell C5. Now, drag the Fill Handle to get the rest of the ID no. in the same column. And drag the Fill Handle in the right direction to get LastName and Dept.

Here is the result,

Combine TRIM, MID, SUBSTITUTE, REPT, and LEN Functions (Result)

Read More: How to Split One Cell into Two in Excel


5. Split a String by Comma Using the FILTERXML Function in Excel

Using the FILTERXML function helps us to split a string separated by commas into several columns. Just follow the steps below to do this.

Steps:

  • First, write down the following formula in an empty cell C5.
=TRANSPOSE(FILTERXML("<t><s>" &SUBSTITUTE(B5,",","</s><s>") & "</s></t>","//s"))

If you are using Excel for MS 365, you can apply the FILTERXML function to split a string by commas. In this method, firstly the text string turns into an XML string by changing commas to XML tags. The TRANSPOSE function turns the array to lay horizontally instead of vertically.

Split a String by Comma Using the FILTERXML Function in Excel

  • Press ENTER. You will see the ID no., LastName, and Dept. at Cell C5, D5, and E5 respectively. Now, drag the Fill Handle to get the rest of the data.

Here is the result,

Split a String by Comma Using the FILTERXML Function in Excel (Result)


Download Practice Workbook

Download the following Excel file for your practice.


Conclusion

In this tutorial, I have discussed 5 examples of Excel formulas to split strings by comma. I hope you found this article helpful. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.


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Hafizul Islam
Hafizul Islam

Hafizul Islam is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role,... Read Full Bio

2 Comments
  1. What if the string to be split, contains not exactly 3, but 1 to 3 substrings, i.e., a maximum of 2 commas?

    • Reply Lutfor Rahman Shimanto
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto Dec 24, 2023 at 6:11 PM

      Hello JOHN

      Thanks for sharing your query. You wanted to split strings within Excel cells that do not always have 3 words separated by commas. In contrast, there can be a string like one or at most three words like the following image. Besides, we must keep the cell empty if more than 3 words mean more than 2 commas exist.

      I am delighted to inform you that I have developed two formulas. The first formula consists of the IF, LEN, SUBSTITUTE, TRIM, and MID functions. The other formula consists of the IF, LEN, SUBSTITUTE, TRANSPOSE, and FILTERXML functions.
      OUTPUT OVERVIEW:

      1. Using IF, LEN, SUBSTITUTE, TRIM, and MID functions
      Follow these steps:
      Step 1: Select cell C5, insert the given formula and drag the Fill Handle icon to E5.

      =IF(LEN($B5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($B5,”,”,””))>2,””,TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE($B5,”,”,REPT(” “,LEN($B5))),(C$4-1)*LEN($B5)+1,LEN($B5))))

      Step 2: Select range C5:E5 and drag the Fill Handle icon to cell E10.

      2. Using FILTERXML, TRANSPOSE, IF, LEN, and SUBSTITUTE functions

      I am attaching the solution workbook for better understanding. I hope these ideas will help you to reach your goal. Good luck.

      DOWNLOAD WORKBOOK

      Regards
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto
      ExcelDemy

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