Say I have a string of: l,f,x,a,s,f

I would want to paste this every comma-separated value over 6 adjacent cells. How would I do it?

3 Answers 3


You can paste it into a split function in a cell and it will break it apart into multiple cells for you:

=SPLIT("l,f,x,a,s,f", ",")
  • 1
    This doesn't seem like the answer to the question. I would've expected either of the ones with more points to be the accepted answer. Dec 15, 2020 at 11:06
  • This doesn't seem like it will work very well if your paste buffer is very large
    – Michael
    May 12, 2021 at 22:25
  • @IanGrainger the user that submits the questions chooses the accepted answer; the better answer came along about two years after the user accepted this answer.
    – troyfolger
    Jan 21, 2022 at 17:57

From https://support.google.com/docs/answer/6325535?hl=en :

  • Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  • Paste the data you want to split into columns.
  • In the bottom right corner of your data, click the Paste icon.
  • Click Split text to columns. Your data will split into different columns.
  • To change the delimiter, in the separator box, click

PS: There is no option for 'TAB' if your text is tab-separated, you can try 4 spaces as custom separator


  • 7
    After pasting in the CSV data I get no Paste icon. But in it's place is a tiny square that acts as a "handle" for resizing. Because of your answer I tried right clicking it and low and behold the Paste options then appear and I can choose Split. Thanks
    – rob
    May 21, 2018 at 9:18
  • 1
    I was going to write the same comment as @rob, thank you!
    – Graph
    Jan 5, 2019 at 21:17
  • 20
    This should be the accepted answer. Jan 18, 2019 at 9:27
  • Got a little tripped up pasting into an existing sheet because I was trying to paste into a frozen column, or one where adjacent columns were reserved / uneditable. Just make sure you have a big open space with no restrictions when pasting
    – dwanderson
    May 10, 2021 at 20:48
  • 1
    Doesn't work for me. The "Split text to columns" option is greyed out.
    – Dennis
    Jul 21, 2021 at 19:01

You are able to paste CSV data as is into the spreadsheet and go to Data selecting Split text to columns... and even further specifying the delimiter:



Also, you can simply use keyboard shortcut combo:


And as already mentioned SPLIT formula:

=SPLIT("l,f,x,a,s,f"; ",")
=SPLIT(A1; ",")

For a range/array it would be:



  • 2
    That worked in Calc (libreoffice). The Data menu has a "Text to Columns..." option and it worked just as intended. Sep 30, 2019 at 23:03
  • 2
    Thanks for this! The other answer that uses the little icon doesn't work for pasting multiple rows (the icon doesn't show up). This way is much more consistent!
    – rococo
    Nov 27, 2021 at 7:55
  • Thanks, this worked for me as well. Mar 9 at 3:48

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