I want to copy and paste CSV formatted text into Excel 2007.

Is there a way of doing this without saving it to a temporary file first?

I'm sure in previous versions of Excel there was a way to trigger the CSV import wizard by hand in this situation, but I don't know how do this in Excel 2007.

For reference, in OpenOffice this Just Works - pasting in 2+ lines of CSV text will trigger the CSV import wizard.

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  • Do you have the CSV file? I don't have one handy to test, but if the file is accessible (including possibly over the network), you should just be able to open Excel, open that file, then Save As to the appropriate Excel format. – Thomas Owens Aug 04 '10 at 10:15
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    @Thomas - thanks, but I was trying to avoid going via a file for convenience (since the CSV data is from an email). – therefromhere Aug 04 '10 at 10:43

5 Answers5


You need to insert your data into one column. Select this column, go to the Data menu and press the Text to Columns button.

For visual assistance, see this screenshot.

default menu: default menu

data menu: text to columns

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Mikhail Chernykh
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    Thanks that works. But then I noticed later it does it automatically as I go along - I think it learns as you go. – DavidC Jul 07 '17 at 20:58

Mark (a.k.a. select) the same number of columns expected to be imported from csv and import (paste). For example:


Mark columns A and B, then paste.

matt wilkie
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    I couldn't get this to work. It gives me the warning message: "Alert" "Data on the Clipboard is not the same size and shape as the selected area. Do you want to paste data anyway" and then it just pastes as CSV. I note you have semicolons, perhaps it works better for semicolons? I'm not sure, but my guess would be that it doesn't. – McKay Oct 07 '16 at 19:29
  • It did not work for me, with comma/colons/semi-colons. – DavChana Nov 24 '19 at 21:54

If you can produce tab-delimited data, you can paste directly into Excel.

If you cannot get them to send you tab-delimited (as opposed to comma-separated) e-mail, this still involves one intermediate step (e.g. paste into notepad, replace all commas with tabs, copy again) but at least you don't have to save into and import a temporary csv file.

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I tried to follow the answer marked here, but found no "Text to Columns" button in the Data menu. (Office 2010, Excel 14.0.7177.5000)

I succeeded another way: first pasted into a google shared docs table (which did what I wanted without any frills.) Then I re-selected the same data there, copied, and pasted into Excel: this time successfully with no unwanted conversion to dates.

Given all the ways to insert data it's suprising and unfortunate there is no easy obvious way to paste cells without conversion without saving to a file first.

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  • Are you sure you didn't miss the button? I just did this using Excel 2010. https://www.google.com/search?q=excel+2010+text+to+columns&tbm=isch – Slava May 02 '17 at 14:28

I'll say I'm 90% sure just changing the file extension to a .xls will resolve the data without any additional steps. What I mean is save a copy of the .csv to your desktop right click, rename, and change the file extension to .xls

I say I'm 90% sure because I'm away from my computer right now and can't verify.

There is a trick to displaying file extensions of known file types in windows 7.

Start/ control panel/ Appearance and Personalization/ Folder Options On the view tab select advanced setting scroll down and deselect Hide extensions for know file types.