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Step-by-step Instructions to Convert a Microsoft Word File to an Excel Sheet

Step-by-step Instructions to Convert a Microsoft Word File to an Excel Sheet

All software applications are not created equal, not even the ones that are a part of the same Microsoft Office suite, namely MS Word and MS Excel. To obtain the benefits of both, one needs to know how to convert a file generated using one into the format of another. In this Techspirited article, we shall show you how you can convert a MS Word file into an Excel sheet.
Satyajeet Vispute
Did you know?
A single Excel 2007 or later worksheet comprises 1,048,576 rows and 16,284 columns. This means that you have a total of 17,176,869,184 cells at your disposal. So, you don't have to worry about running out of cells while using MS Excel.

They say that in the world of data collection, you simply cannot have your cake, and eat it too. If you wish to gather data conveniently on Microsoft Word, you won't be able to benefit from the systematic data arrangement and calculation ability of Microsoft Excel. Similarly, if you decide to use Excel all the way, then you won't be able to enjoy the simplicity of data accumulation that Word has to offer. You just cannot have both these facilities at your disposal at the same time.

Well, guess what? I am here to show you how you can have your cake and enjoy eating it too. With a step-by-step procedure, I will teach you how to convert the data which you have easily and conveniently gathered in Microsoft Word to the much more ordered and functional one in Microsoft Excel. But first, let's take a brief look at each of these data processing applications to understand what they have to offer.

What is Microsoft Word?
Microsoft Word is a word processing software developed by Microsoft Corp. for Windows and Mac OS X. It is available as a part of the Microsoft Office Suite and also as a standalone program. As its name itself suggests, this software is basically designed for creating and processing text-based documents, such as letters, emails, manuscripts, etc.

Currently, MS Word is the most widely used word processing program in the consumer market, thanks largely to its easy-to-use interface and powerful word processing capabilities. MS Word makes data collection both convenient and easy. However, since this application is only designed for simple text and words, calculations with numbers and other complicated data processing options aren't available in it.

What is Microsoft Excel?
Microsoft Excel was created to cater to data formatting, representation and calculation needs of engineering, finance and statistics. It has a grid-like structure, comprising a number of unique cells. Data entered within these cells can be operated upon using a battery of different functions and formulae that Excel bundles within its software suite.

MS Excel has a number of convenient data representation functionalities, such as graphs, charts, histograms, etc. It is even compatible with Visual Basic applications, thus allowing one to employ a number of numerical and statistical methods.

Why Convert Word to Excel?
MS Word offers the convenience of easy data collection. A form created in Word is easy to use and fill up. However, once data collection is done, it is very difficult to process because of the lack of options available in Word.

MS Excel, on the other hand, can do all the things Word cannot. Calculations and data processing is a breeze. However, putting data in an excel spreadsheet is a difficult job. Each cell in the spreadsheet has to be individually selected and filled, which can be very time-consuming and tedious. Therefore, the best option would be to collect data in Word, and then transfer it to Excel. Typically, this will involve gathering data in a tabular format and then converting the table in Word to Excel.

However, it isn't as simple as it sounds. Both these applications produce files which have different formats. This means that their way of representing data is different. Converting Word to Excel with the correct formatting requires one to follow a procedure. In the following section, we take you through the steps to convert a file in Word to Excel.

How to Convert Word to Excel
Step 1
Open the Word document that you want to convert to Excel. On the left-hand-side top corner, click on 'File'. From the drop-down list, choose the 'Save As' option.

Step 2
In the new dialog window that opens, you will find two fields - 'File Name' and below it 'Save as Type'. In the first field, type in a name for your file. Click on the downward-facing arrow in the second field, and from the drop-down list choose 'Plain Text (.txt)'. Then, from the Explorer window section, on the right of the dialog window, choose the drive location and the folder where you want to save this file.

Step 3
When you click on save, a file conversion window will open. In it, you can choose whether or not to put 'Line Breaks'. If you select this option, then each new line of your Word document will be put in a new row in the final Excel spreadsheet document. If you don't select this option, then each new paragraph will be put in a new row. To include line breaks, put a check across the 'Insert Line Breaks' option in the file conversion window.
After making your choice, click on the 'Save' option to save the converted file

Step 4
Launch Microsoft Excel. In a new spreadsheet, select a particular cell (by clicking on it once) from where you would like to start adding your Word information. Keep in mind that your text will get added below and to the right of this cell that you choose.

Step 5
Now, click on the 'Data' tab on top of the Excel Window. From the options that are presented, click on the 'From Text' ribbon icon in the 'Import External Data 'section. In the new Explorer dialog window, locate the text file that you had saved in step 3, and double click on it to open the Text Import Wizard. In it, select the radio button across 'Delimited', and click on 'Next'.

Step 6
If you want each word in your text to be in its own cell, check the box next to 'Space', else leave the Delimiters section blank. Click on 'Next', and then on 'Finish'. When the Import Data pop-up window opens, click on 'OK'. Your Word data should now be converted and available to use on Excel.

Thus, you can benefit from the easy data collection that Word provides, and then using the above procedure, have it converted to Excel, which will open up a plethora of processing and formatting options before you.