MrExcel Publishing
Your One Stop for Excel Tips & Solutions

Getting Word to Excel

Posted by Anthony on June 29, 2001 6:13 AM

I have two fairly large Word Documents that I need to make a comparison on. Is there any way I can either export from Word to Excel or import from Word to Excel? I've already tried the copy and paste method which doesn't seem to work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Posted by Ben O. on June 29, 2001 9:26 AM

Save the Word document as a plan text file. Make sure that there are tabs or other characters between each field. If your data is in a table in Word, convert the table to text.

In Excel, select Data > Get External Data > Import Text File. Choose Delimited as the data type and use tab, or whatever character you used to separate fields in your Word document, as your delimiter.

-Ben O.

Posted by Anthony on June 29, 2001 11:51 AM

Thanks Ben for the immediate response. I'm not quite certain what you mean when you say to make certain that there are tabs or other characters between each field. Would you mind explaining that to me?

Thanks again


Posted by Ben O. on June 29, 2001 1:44 PM


If you want to import a text file into Excel and have that data be in multiple columns once it's in Excel, it must be either fixed width or delimited. Fixed-width means that new columns occur at the same place on every line. That's not very useful for most information. Delimited means that some ASCII character occurs wherever you want a column break. Usually this character is a tab. If you had address information and wanted the Street, City, and State in different columns, your data would have to look like:

Street {tab} City {tab} State

If you have your data in a table in Word, you're going to want to convert it to text. When you select Table > Convert > Table to Text, Word will ask you what it should separate the text with. In other word, it wants to know what it should use as the delimiter. You can use any ASCII character, but I would suggest a tab or some other character that isn't use in your data. Whatever you choose, just remember to tell Excel to use it as the delimiter when it imports your data.

If you data in Word and is *not* in a table, just save it as Text Only With Line Breaks (.txt) so that every line goes in a different row (assuming that's what you want). When in Excel, you can use Text to Columns to parse it into different columns.


Posted by Anthony on June 29, 2001 8:47 PM

Thank you

I greatly appreciate you taking the time out to explain that to me.