This post will guide you on how to extract the first word from a text string in Excel. Sometimes, you may have a long string of text and only need the first word for analysis or sorting purposes. Fortunately, there is a simple formula that can do this, or you can use VBA code to create a more powerful and flexible solution.
In this post, we will explore both methods so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
1. Get First Word using Formula in Excel
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:
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 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))
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(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.
2. Get First Word using User Defined Function with VBA Code
You can create a User Defined Function in VBA code to extract the first word from a text string in Excel, here are the steps:
Step1: Open the Visual Basic Editor by pressing Alt + F11.
Step2: In the VBA Editor, go to Insert > Module to create a new module.
Step3: In the new module, enter the following code. Save the module and close the VBA Editor.
Function GetFirstWord_Excelhow(str As String) As String Dim arr() As String arr = Split(str, " ") GetFirstWord_Excelhow = arr(0) End Function
Step4: Go back to your Excel worksheet and enter a text string in a cell.
Step5: In a blank cell, enter the following formula:
Where B1 is the cell containing the text string.
Step6: Press Enter to see the first word extracted from the text string.
The function splits the input string into an array of words using the space character as the delimiter, and returns the first word in the array using the index 0.
3. Video: Get First Word from Text String
This video will show you how to extract the first word from a text string in Excel using either a formula or VBA code.
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5. 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
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- 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)…