Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

SSMS 2008 -> Excel 2003

This isn't happening all the time, but sometimes when I 'copy with headers' from sql server management studio, the results in Excel look as though I've used the 'text to columns' wizard with 'spaces' and 'brackets' as delimiters, meaning that the results become raggedly distributed across columns making them useless

I've looked in the 'grid output' query options but can't see anything which may be causing the issue

(not sure if this should be on superuser?)

share|improve this question

This problem can be caused by Excel "Text to column" feature. What it does is, it breaks a single column into multiple columns depending on which delimiter you choose. Once you use this feature, Excel somehow thinks it is still on and may affect your next copy and past operation.

To fix Go to Data > Text To column and select a different delimiter (other than space), such as comma or a tab. Then copy and paste. It should fix the problem.

Related weird question mark in Excel after copy and past

share|improve this answer
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It is persisting 'text to columns' settings from earlier

Find an empty cell
put asdf
in that cell

Data|Text to columns
uncheck all the options
finish up

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.