Split columns by delimiter

In Power Query, you can split a column through different methods. In this case, the column(s) selected can be split by a delimiter.

Where to find Split Columns > By Delimiter

You can find the Split Columns: By Delimiter option in three places:

  • Home tab—under the Split column dropdown menu inside the Transform group.

    Split column button in Home tab

  • Transform tab—under the Split column dropdown menu inside the Text column group.

    Split column button in Transform tab

  • Right-click a column—inside the Split column option.

    Split column button found in column right click contextual menu

Split columns by delimiter into columns

In this example, the initial table will be the one shown in the image below, with only one column for Accounts.

Sample source table for splitting columns into new columns

This column holds two values:

  • Account number
  • Account name

In this example, you want to split this column into two columns. The values are delimited by a space—the first space from left to right. To do this split, select the column, and then select the option to split the column by a delimiter. In Split Column by Delimiter, apply the following configuration:

  • Select or enter delimiter: Space
  • Split at: Left-most delimiter

Split column into columns window

The result of that operation will give you a table with the two columns that you're expecting.

Sample output table for splitting columns into new columns

Note

Power Query will split the column into as many columns as needed. The name of the new columns will contain the same name as the original column. A suffix that includes a dot and a number that represents the split sections of the original column will be appended to the name of the new columns.

Split columns by delimiter into rows

In this example, your initial table will be the one shown in the image below, with the columns Cost Center and Accounts.

Sample source table for splitting columns into rows

The Accounts column has values in pairs separated by a comma. These pairs are separated by a semicolon. The goal of this example is to split this column into new rows by using the semicolon as the delimiter.

To do that split, select the Accounts column. Select the option to split the column by a delimiter. In Split Column by Delimiter, apply the following configuration:

  • Select or enter delimiter: Semicolon
  • Split at: Each occurrence of the delimiter
  • Split into: Rows

Split column into rows window

The result of that operation will give you a table with the same number of columns, but many more rows because the values inside the cells are now in their own cells.

Sample output table for splitting columns into rows

Final Split

Your table still requires one last split column operation. You need to split the Accounts column by the first comma that it finds. This split will create a column for the account name and another one for the account number.

To do that split, select the Accounts column and then select Split Column > By Delimiter. Inside the Split column window, apply the following configuration:

  • Select or enter delimiter: Comma
  • Split at: Each occurrence of the delimiter

Table after splitting into rows and into columns

The result of that operation will give you a table with the three columns that you're expecting. You then rename the columns as follows:

Previous Name New Name
Accounts.1 Account Name
Accounts.2 Account Number

Your final table looks like the one in the following image.

Final output table with renamed columns