Excel can be used for so much more than formulas and data management. It’s also an excellent way to manage your contacts. However, you just might find that you’ll need to know how to separate first and last names in Excel.

If you import all of your contacts from another source, you’ll likely end up with a first and last name in a single cell. There’s nothing wrong with that, but separating the two can help you organize them better. Here are some steps on how to get started.

How to separate first and last names in Excel:

We’ll start off with our fake contact sheet. You’ll notice that it shows each person’s name, email address, and business. None of these email addresses are real, just in case you were hoping to email Luke Skywalker.

1. The first thing we need to do is add an empty column that we will use for the last names. To do this, select column B.

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2. Now right-click and find the Insert option. Select Insert to add the empty column.

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3. Select the top of the column with your names in it. In our example, that means column A. Now make sure you have the Data tab open.

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4. Click on the Text to Columns button. This should open up a wizard menu.

5. In the menu, select Delimited. This identifies the separate names using tabs or spaces between them.

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6. On page two of the wizard, deselect tab and select Space. At the bottom, you should be able to see an example of where Excel will divide your data.

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7. Move onto page three of the wizard and select Finish to apply your changes.

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8. Finally, update the column headers to reflect that first and last names are now separate.

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Now you know how to separate first and last names in Excel. Your contact lists will never be the same, and it should be easier to search for contacts now. You can also sort your list alphabetically if you want to be even more organized.

What else can I do in Excel?

Now that you’re the master of your contact list, you might be ready to expand your Excel skills even further. A little bit of formal training can go a long way and actually save you time during the day. If you’re ready to take it to the next level you might be interested in a learning kit that we’re highlighting right now.

It’s called the Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle and it includes 45 total hours of hands-on content. You can practice common business functions like data analysis and graph building or just dig into the basics. Excel is an important part of many careers, so it might give you a leg up to practice a bit.

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