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.

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

get first word1

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)

get first word1

This formula extracts the first word in the text in cell B1. The LEFT function extracts the left-most characters and the number of characters that you need to extract is specified by the result returned by the FIND function.

 

= ISERR(FIND(” “,B1))

get first word3

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))

get first word4

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

  • Excel LEFT function
    The Excel LEFT function returns a substring (a specified number of the characters) from a text string, starting from the leftmost character.The LEFT function is a build-in function in Microsoft Excel and it is categorized as a Text Function.The syntax of the LEFT function is as below:= LEFT(text,[num_chars])…t)…
  • Excel IF function
    The Excel IF function perform a logical test to return one value if the condition is TRUE and return another value if the condition is FALSE. The IF function is a build-in function in Microsoft Excel and it is categorized as a Logical Function.The syntax of the IF function is as below:= IF (condition, [true_value], [false_value])….
  • Excel FIND function
    The Excel FIND function returns the position of the first text string (sub string) within another text string.The syntax of the FIND function is as below:= FIND(find_text, within_text,[start_num])…
  • Excel ISERR function
    The Excel ISERR function returns TRUE if the value is any error value except #N/A.The syntax of the ISERR function is as below:= ISERR (value)…

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