5

I have some CSV data in the clipboard that I'm trying to paste into a Google sheet (Chrome, Windows 7). There isn't really a direct paste option for CSV data (like the "Paste Unformatted Text" option in OpenOffice), but I noticed that sometimes a little clipboard icon appears and if you click it a menu with "split text to columns" comes up.

The problem I'm having is, I don't know how to activate this menu and do the actual paste:

enter image description here

Once I click "split text to columns" a separator selector pops up, then... I don't know what the next step is. Selecting a separator just leaves the pop up on the screen, Ctrl+V doesn't do anything, clicking elsewhere closes it, and I'm not sure how to perform the actual action.

So, two questions:

  1. How do I actually perform this action?
  2. What is it that triggers that little clipboard thing to come up? I can't actually control it, it just sometimes appears on its own.

I'm not looking for other ways to import CSV data, there are other working solutions e.g. saving to a file then importing. I'm specifically wondering about this context menu action.

  • Have you tried simply hitting Enter? – ale Jul 10 '16 at 18:21
  • @AlE. Yes. "Enter" when the selector is focused opens the selector. "Enter" when the entire pop-up is focused is a no-op. – Jason C Jul 10 '16 at 18:24
5

I took some test CSV data and pasted it into a Google Sheet. When I opened the clipboard and chose "split text to columns", my data was immediately split. There shouldn't be anything else you need to do.

Try with a smaller sub-set of the data.

  • Oh I see. You paste the unsplit text, and then the clipboard happens, then you choose, and it modifies what you just pasted. Now it's working. What was happening was two things: 1) I didn't notice the clipboard after pasting because it was at some random point about 2/3 down through the data, 2) I actually only saw the clipboard after undoing a paste and so I misinterpreted what its position in the workflow was. Sweet, thanks, your answer gave me the hint I needed to get it working. – Jason C Jul 10 '16 at 18:33
  • (Kind of a weird workflow but at least it works. Extra weird because the "paste X only" options in that pop-up actually apply immediately in the post-undo situation, unlike "split". Oh, Google...) – Jason C Jul 10 '16 at 18:37
  • It is a bit odd, but it makes sense to me now. I suppose Google needs to see what the data looks like to determine if it might be CSV, SCSV, TSV, etc. I'm glad I was able to help. – ale Jul 10 '16 at 18:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.