How to Convert Microsoft Word to a Microsoft Excel File

Updated April 17, 2017

You may receive data in Microsoft Word that you want to work with in a Microsoft Excel file. Excel can juggle, crunch and format numbers with greater versatility than Word. If your Word document presents numbers in a tabbed format, converting this data from Word to Excel is often a simple job you can do manually. For more complicated documents, you can try dedicated conversion software.

Decide whether you need to convert the Word document as a whole into an Excel document or simply transfer the data from the Word document into an Excel document. If the document is not too complex, manually copying the data in a Word file and pasting it into an Excel sheet may be the easiest method.

Regularise the display in your Word document with tabs before transferring data or directly converting the document, Excel is all about columns, rows and cells. It is easiest to transfer blocks of numbers to an Excel spreadsheet that are already uniformly tab-aligned into columns and rows in the original document, whether in columns or in a table.

Select the table's contents by clicking Ctrl-A inside the table If the data in the Word document are in table format. Alternatively, choose the "Table" option from the Menu bar at the top of the screen, choose "Select," then choose the "Table" option under "Select." Copy the selected text in the table, then paste the copied data into a blank Excel spreadsheet (or into a blank area of an Excel spreadsheet).

Copy and paste the selected columns into the Excel spreadsheet if the data in the Word document are presented in tabbed columns.

But if the columns in Word are separated by spaces rather than tabs---because either you or the person who sent you the document did not first regularise the data with tabs as suggested in Step 2---all is not lost. You can still copy and paste the numerical information from Word into Excel. The numbers as pasted into the Excel spreadsheet will be separated by spaces and grouped within only one column, i.e., in one cell per row. To segregate the numbers into separate cells on each row, click on the "Data" menu option right after pasting the data (i.e., while the column into which you pasted the numbers is still highlighted). Then tick the "Text to Columns" option, click the "Next" button, click "Next" again, and click "Finish."

Consider using software dedicated to converting documents to convert a more complicated Word document into an Excel document directly, Often, you'll be able to test a demo version or a full version during a trial period, before deciding whether to purchase the software.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Conversion software
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

D.M. Brown has been a freelance writer and editor since 1982. His work has appeared in "The New Individualist," "Reason," "Oasis," "Liberty," "The Freeman," "Laissez Faire Books Review," "Objective American," "Trenton Times" and other publications. Brown graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in history.