Excel allows us to get first name from name using the **FIND **and** LEFT **functions. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in getting first name from name

*Figure 1. The final result of the formula*

**Syntax of the FIND Formula**

The generic formula for the FIND function is:

**=FIND(find_text, within_text)**

The parameters of the FIND function are:

**find_text**– a text that we want to find in selected text or cell**within_text**– a text or cell where we want to find a text.

If a text is found, the FIND function returns a position of text in a cell. If it’s not found, the function returns #VALUE! error.

**Syntax of the LEFT Formula**

The generic formula for the LEFT function is:

**=LEFT(text, [num_chars])**

The parameters of the LEFT function are:

**text**– a text from which we want to get a first part**[num_chars]**– a number of characters that we want to get from a text from the left side. This is the optional parameter, but if it is omitted, the function will return the text itself.

**Setting up Our Data for the Example**

Our table consists of w columns: “Full Name” (column B) and “First Name” (column C). In column C, we want to get the first name from a full name.

* Figure 2. Data that we will use in the examples*

**Get the First Name from the Name**

In the example, we want to get the first name in the cell C3, from the full name in B3. We will first find a space and get all characters before the space.

The formula looks like:

**=LEFT(B3, FIND(" ", B3)-1)**

The **find_text** parameter of the FIND function is the space (“ “) and **within_text** is B3. The result of this function is the position of the space in B3. This value minus 1 is the **num_chars** parameter of the LEFT function, while B3 is the **text** parameter.

To apply the formula we need to follow these steps:

- Select cell C3 and click on it
- Insert the formula:
`=LEFT(B3, FIND(" ", B3)-1)`

- Press enter
- Drag the formula down to the other cells in the column by clicking and dragging the little “+” icon at the bottom-right of the cell.

*Figure 3. Using the formula to get the first name from the full name*

The FIND function returns 5 as the position of the space in B3. Therefore the LEFT function returns 4 characters from B3. The result in the cell C3 is “Mike”.

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