So I have a table like this and I want to split it into separate transactions for each item with the same IDs. Essentially we would have 3 rows with Order ID 1 but one with Pen, one with Pencil and one with Ruler. Similar for the rest.

Order ID Category Amount
1 Pen,Pencil,Ruler 1,2,3
2 Ruler,Eraser 3,2
3 Compass,Pen,Eraser 4,1,2
4 Pen,Pencil 1,2

This is what I want the table to look like (I will only do the first few rows)

Order ID Category Amount
1 Pen 1
1 Pencil 2
1 Ruler 3

I have managed to do this one way through first using text to columns with a delimiter to split the category and the amounts bit. Then from here I copy and pasted with transpose and shifted the data around to get my desired table.

I was wondering if there is an easier, quicker and better way of doing this perhaps since this wouldn't be ideal for large datasets.


  • Which Excel version are you using? If you have Excel O365, there are text handling functions like TEXTSPLIT that make this easier to do in a formula.
    – Max
    Sep 23 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


You can accomplish this using Power Query, available in Windows Excel 2010+ and Excel 365 (Windows or Mac)

To use Power Query

  • Select some cell in your Data Table
  • Data => Get&Transform => from Table/Range or from within sheet
  • When the PQ Editor opens: Home => Advanced Editor
  • Make note of the Table Name in Line 2
  • Paste the M Code below in place of what you see
  • Change the Table name in line 2 back to what was generated originally.
  • Read the comments and explore the Applied Steps to understand the algorithm

//Change next line to reflect your actual data source
    Source = Excel.CurrentWorkbook(){[Name="Table24"]}[Content],

//set the data types
    #"Changed Type" = Table.TransformColumnTypes(Source,{{"Order ID", Int64.Type}, {"Category", type text}, {"Amount", type text}}),

//Add custom column where the contents of the Category and Amount column are combined into a single list
    #"Added Custom" = Table.AddColumn(#"Changed Type", "Custom", each List.Zip({Text.Split([Category],","), Text.Split([Amount],",")})),

//Remove the original category and amount columns
    #"Removed Columns" = Table.RemoveColumns(#"Added Custom",{"Category", "Amount"}),

//Expand the list column into rows (each one will have a list corresponding to a single pair of Category/Amount
    #"Expanded Custom" = Table.ExpandListColumn(#"Removed Columns", "Custom"),

//Create a two-element comma-separated text string from each list
    #"Extracted Values" = Table.TransformColumns(#"Expanded Custom", {"Custom", 
        each Text.Combine(List.Transform(_, Text.From), ","), type text}),

//Split the text string, by the comma, into two rows
    #"Split Column by Delimiter" = Table.SplitColumn(#"Extracted Values", "Custom", 
        Splitter.SplitTextByDelimiter(",", QuoteStyle.Csv), {"Category", "Amount"}),

//set the data types
    #"Changed Type1" = Table.TransformColumnTypes(#"Split Column by Delimiter",{{"Category", type text}, {"Amount", Int64.Type}})
    #"Changed Type1"

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