Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Splitting Information into Rows.

Splitting Information into Rows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 11, 2021)

James has some data in a worksheet that is contained in a series of rows. One of the columns in the data includes cells that have multiple lines per cell. (The data in the cell was separated into lines by pressing Alt+Enter between items.) James would like to split this data into multiple rows. For instance, if there were three lines of data in a single cell in the row, then the data in that cell should be split out into three rows.

Excel provides a handy way to split data into separate columns using the Text to Columns tool. This can be used to split the data based on the presence of the ASCII 10 character, which is what Excel inserts when you press Alt+Enter. The problem is that while this successfully splits the data into separate columns, it doesn't get it into separate rows, like James requested.

That means that the solution to this problem must include the use of a macro. One approach is shown in the following code. In this example, the macro assumes that you want to "expand" everything in the worksheet, and that the data in the worksheet starts in row 1.

Sub CellSplitter1()
    Dim Temp As Variant
    Dim CText As String
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer
    Dim L As Integer
    Dim iColumn As Integer
    Dim lNumCols As Long
    Dim lNumRows As Long

    iColumn = 4

    Set wksSource = ActiveSheet
    Set wksNew = Worksheets.Add

    iTargetRow = 0
    With wksSource
        lNumCols = .Range("IV1").End(xlToLeft).Column
        lNumRows = .Range("A65536").End(xlUp).Row
        For J = 1 To lNumRows
            CText = .Cells(J, iColumn).Value
            Temp = Split(CText, Chr(10))
            For K = 0 To UBound(Temp)
                iTargetRow = iTargetRow + 1
                For L = 1 to lNumCols
                    If L <> iColumn Then
                        wksNew.Cells(iTargetRow, L) _
                          = .Cells(J, L)
                    Else
                        wksNew.Cells(iTargetRow, L) _
                          = Temp(K)
                    End If
                Next L
            Next K
        Next J
    End With
End Sub

Note that in order to run the macro, you will need to specify, using the iColumn variable, the column that contains the cells to be split apart. As written here, the macro splits apart info in the fourth column. In addition, the split-apart versions of the cells are stored in a new worksheet, so that the original worksheet is not affected at all.

The macro relies upon the use of the Split function to tear apart the multi-line cells. This function is only available beginning in Excel 2000, and isn't available in Excel for the Mac at all. In addition, you might want to only run the macro on a particular selection of cells. To overcome all these potential problems, you will want to consider the following macro, instead:

Sub CellSplitter2()
    Dim iSplitCol As Integer
    Dim iEnd As Integer
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim iCount As Integer
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim wksNew As Worksheet
    Dim wksSource As Worksheet
    Dim lRow As Long
    Dim lRowNew As Long
    Dim lRows As Long
    Dim lRowOffset As Long
    Dim iTargetRows As Integer
    Dim iCol As Integer
    Dim iCols As Integer
    Dim iColOffset As Integer
    Dim AWF As WorksheetFunction

    On Error GoTo ErrRoutine
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    'Set Column to split
    iSplitCol = 4

    iCols = Selection.Columns.Count
    lRows = Selection.Rows.Count

    iColOffset = Selection.Column - 1
    lRowOffset = Selection.Row - 1
    lRowNew = lRowOffset
    
    Set wksSource = ActiveSheet
    Set wksNew = Worksheets.Add

    Set AWF = Application.WorksheetFunction
    With wksSource
        For lRow = (lRowOffset + 1) To (lRowOffset + lRows)
            sTemp = .Cells(lRow, iSplitCol)
            If Right(sTemp, 1) <> vbLf Then
                sTemp = sTemp & vbLf
            End If
            iCount = (Len(sTemp) - _
              Len(AWF.Substitute(sTemp, vbLf, "")))

            For iTargetRows = 1 To iCount
                lRowNew = lRowNew + 1
                For i = (iColOffset + 1) To (iColOffset + iCols)
                    If i <> iSplitCol Then
                        wksNew.Cells(lRowNew, i) _
                          = .Cells(lRow, i)
                    Else
                        iEnd = InStr(sTemp, vbLf)
                        wksNew.Cells(lRowNew, i) _
                          = Left(sTemp, iEnd - 1)
                        sTemp = Mid(sTemp, iEnd + 1)
                    End If
                Next i
            Next iTargetRows
        Next lRow
    End With

ExitRoutine:
    Set wksSource = Nothing
    Set wksNew = Nothing
    Set AWF = Nothing
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    Exit Sub

ErrRoutine:
    MsgBox Err.Description, vbExclamation
    Resume ExitRoutine
End Sub

The macro still relies upon the use of a variable to indicate the column to be split apart. In this instance, the variable is iSplitCol, and it is set to column 4. The macro only works on the cells selected when it is first run, and the split-apart cells are transferred to a new worksheet. The address of the upper-left cell in the new worksheet is the same as the upper-left cell selected when the macro is run.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3263) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Splitting Information into Rows.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Counting Words

Do you need to know how many words are in a range of cells? Excel provides no intrinsic way to count the words, but you ...

Discover More

Leading Zeros in Page Numbers

Page numbers in Excel printouts are typically simple counters, without much chance for embellishment. If you want to add ...

Discover More

Calculating a Geometric Standard Deviation

One of the areas in which Excel provides worksheet functions is in the arena of statistical analysis. You may want to ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Debugging a Macro

Part of writing macros is to make sure they work as you expect. This involves a process known as debugging. Here's how ...

Discover More

Deriving an Absolute Value in a Macro

Need to figure out an absolute value within your macro code? It's easy to do using the Abs function, described in this tip.

Discover More

Updating Automatically When Opening Under Macro Control

If your workbook contains links, you are normally given the opportunity to update those links when you open the workbook. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.