Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: Extracting the First Word or String in a Cell

Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: Extracting the First Word or String in a Cell

Here is an example for returning the first word in a cell, with a formula that can be easily modified to return all contents to the left of the first found specified character in a cell.

In the picture, the example at the left returns the first word in the cells in column A, with this formula in cell B4 and copied down:
=LEFT(A4,FIND(" ",A4)-1)

What’s happening is, the first (left-most) space character " " is found. The formula returns all cell contents to the left of that first space, which are letters that form the first word in those sentences.

The example on the right shows the same formula, only modified by looking for the first "/" character, and dutifully returning everything to the left of that:
=LEFT(A4,FIND("/",A4)-1)

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