The Text to Columns command will allow you to clean up Excel data in a variety of scenarios, such as:
- Database imports where numbers are being treated as text by Excel.
- Situations where you need to convert a column of one datatype to another.
- Problems caused by phantom spaces or characters at the end of cells.
- Scenarios where you want to "split up" data (e.g. First from last name, WBS levels, etc.)
To use Text to Columns:
- Select the column (or cells) you wish to convert
- Choose Data → Text To Columns.
- Step through the wizard.
Pay attention to whether you have a delimiter (something that allows you to "split" the data) or whether you are wanting to do a "fixed width" conversion. Also pay attention to the format of the destination column.
You can put the converted data onto the same column/cells or onto a different range. When in doubt, choose a different target range--it's always easy to cut and paste the results later.