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How to Split Data Using the SPLIT Function Google Sheets

How would you split a date-time value 4/20/2020 8:00:00 into two separate values: date 4/20/2020 and time 8:00:00. The SPLIT function Google Sheets will work well, however, it’s not the only option to use. Read on to learn more about how you can split cells in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets split text to columns: a shortcut

The fastest way to divide data in a cell or multiple cells is to press Alt+a,e. It will work if Compatible keyboard shortcuts are enabled. For more on this, read Google Sheets Shortcuts in Action.

With a mouse or touchpad, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Select a cell or cells with the data to be split. Go to the Data menu and select Split text to columns.
1 select split text to columns
  • Select a separator or let it be detected automatically
2 select separator

The cell value will be split into fragments:

3 split text result

Do the same if you need to split data in multiple cells:

4 split values multiple cells

This is the fastest way to split Google Sheets. However, it affects the source data. If you need to leave the source data unchanged and customize the data split, use the SPLIT function Google Sheets. 

SPLIT function Google Sheets explained

SPLIT divides data into fragments based on the delimiter and puts them into separate cells. The number of cells depends on the number of fragments resulting from the split.

What is a delimiter

A delimiter is a character or symbol, around which the data will be split into fragments. It may be any textual, numeric, or punctuation symbol.

Google Sheets SPLIT formula syntax

=split(data, delimiter, [split_by_each], [remove_empty_text])
  • data – Textual or numeric data to split
  • delimiter – Any textual, numeric, or punctuation symbol to split the data around.
  • [split_by_each] – An optional parameter to change the splitting behavior of the delimiter. By default, the data will be split around each character in the delimiter. For example, if your delimiter is “123”, the data will be divided around “1”, “2”, and “3” separately. If you need to divide the data around the delimiter as a whole, set [split_by_each] to FALSE.
  • [remove_empty_text] – An optional parameter, which removes empty text cells from the split fragments. If you want to turn it off, set [remove_empty_text] to FALSE. In this case, you must also specify [split_by_each]  parameter (TRUE or FALSE) in your SPLIT formula.

Check out the options for how to split cells in Excel or how to split Excel sheet into multiple worksheets.

SPLIT Google Sheets formula example

=split(A1," ")


In the A1 cell, we have a text to be split. The delimiter (" ") is space. We don’t need to specify optional parameters, so just skip them. Here is what we’ve got:

ARRAYFORMULA + SPLIT Google Sheets formula for a column

To apply the SPLIT function Google Sheets to the entire column, you’ll need to combine it with ARRAYFORMULA as follows:

   split(data, delimiter, [split_by_each], [remove_empty_text])

Read more on how you can use ARRAYFORMULA in Google Sheets.

We’ll show you how it works a bit later.

How to split cells in Google Sheets: real-life examples

Let’s check out some practical use of the SPLIT function Google Sheets in real life. For this, we imported some raw data using, a data integration tool to automate data exports from third-party sources, such as Airtable, Xero, Pipedrive, and others into Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery. Check out all the available Google Sheets integrations.

Importing data is very simple. You can sign up to using your Google account or install the add-on for Google Sheets from the Google Workspace Marketplace. Then you’ll need to select the source and destination apps for your integration and complete their setup.

If the importer you need is not available, feel free to share your use case with us by filling in this form. This will help us decide which dedicated importer will be created next. You can also try to set up the JSON integration yourselves using your app’s web API.

Each integration allows you to automate data refresh on a custom schedule such as every hour or every 15 minutes. This feature will let you forget about manual data import – will do this for you at the set frequency.

7 facebook ads export schedule

How to split date and time in Google Sheets

10/18/2019 14:44:39 – This is the date format you usually get when importing data from Airtable, Pipedrive, and other sources. At the same time, for different calculations, you’ll need either date (10/18/2019) or time (14:44:39). SPLIT Google Sheets is what you should use to fix that.

We’ve imported data using the Pipedrive to Google Sheets integration and needed to split the add_time column (AH2:AH). Here is the formula and how it works:

   split('Pipedrive Deals'!AH2:AH," ")

Note: If you see 2019-06-30 in the cell, whereas the formula bar shows 6/30/2019 22:00:00, the SPLIT function Google Sheets won’t work until you apply the date time format (Alt+o,n,i) to the cell/cells:

How to split text in Google Sheets (SPLIT + QUERY)

For this use case, we’ve used a data set imported with the Airtable to Google Sheets integration. Our goal is to split the Customer Name column (C2:C) into separate columns with name and surname. However, some values in our database contain unnecessary data:

If we use a regular SPLIT formula, it will result in an additional column that we don’t need. 

   split('All orders'!C2:C, " ")

To solve this issue, let’s combine the above formula with the QUERY function, as follows: 

    split('All orders'!C2:C, " ")),
 "select Col1, Col2")

Read our dedicated blog post to learn more about the power of Google Sheets Query Function.

Split cells in Google Sheets recap

We’ve covered the most common cases of using the SPLIT function. Perhaps, yours is much more interesting. Use the comments section below to share it with us, and we will be happy to include it in this copy. If you need a reverse action then read our blog post about merging data in Google Sheets. Good luck with your data!

  • Zakhar Yung

    A content manager at whose key responsibility is to ensure that the readers love our content on the blog. With 5 years of experience as a wordsmith in SaaS, I know how to make texts resonate with readers' queries✍🏼

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