How to get first word from text string
This post will guide you how to extract the first word from a text string in excel. How to get the first word in a text using excel formula.
Table of Contents
Get First word
If you want to extract the first word from a text string in a cell, you can use a combination of the IF function, the ISERR function, the LEFT function and the FIND function to create a complex excel formula.
You can use the LEFT function to extract the first word, but the problem is that how to get the length of the first word in the text. So you can use the FIND function to get the position of the first space character in the text in a cell, the number is then subtracted by 1 to get the length of the first word.
So Assuming that you want to get the first word in a text string in Cell B1, then you can write down an excel formula as follows:
=IF(ISERR(FIND(" ",B1)),B1, LEFT(B1, FIND(" ",B1)1))
Let’s see how this formula works:
=FIND(” “,B1)1
This formula returns the length of the first word in the text in Cell B1. It goes into the LEFT function as its num_chars argument.
=LEFT(B1, FIND(” “,B1)1)
This formula extracts the first word in the text in cell B1. The LEFT function extracts the leftmost characters and the number of characters that you need to extract is specified by the result returned by the FIND function.
= ISERR(FIND(” “,B1))
The ISERR function will check if the FIND function do not find any space character in the text, it means that it contains only one word or a blank Cell. If
=IF(ISERR(FIND(” “,B1)),B1, LEFT(B1, FIND(” “,B1)1))
If the ISERR function returns TRUE, then returns the value of Cell B1, otherwise, returns the first word of the text in Cell B1.
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Related Functions

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