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Get first name from name

Extract the First Name from Full Name Using Excel Formula

You may come across a task which needs to separate a name or set of information from a single cell.  It is a quite difficult task because it requires full consistency, and if you have to extract thousands of cells, it may take weeks to complete. In this article, we have compiled a simple formula using two functions i-e, LEFT and FIND. Although this formula can be used in different cases, we are going to test it to extract the first name from the full name.

Basic Formula

=LEFT (name, FIND (" ", name)-1)


Using the LEFT and FIND functions, you can extract the first name from name instantly. If you see the original formula above, we have mentioned the full name as “name”. While the first name is being separated from other parts of the name.


In the screenshot, you can see the following formula in the active cell.

=LEFT (B5, FIND (" ",B5)-1)

Figure1. Example of Excel Formula to Extract the First Name from Full Name

What Does This Formula do?

The FIND function locates the position of the space character (” “) and returns it in the full name. Then, it subtracts 1 from this number as we can see in the formula. In the next step, the LEFT function uses this number to extract the total number of characters. Now, refer to the first example in the screenshot-Steve Mark. Space is located at the 6th position, we get the number 6 here and minus 1 from it. The answer is 5 which indicates that there are 5 characters to be extracted.

In the last step, starting from the left side, the characters would be extracted by the LEFT function. As we got the answer 5, so the result is “Steve

Important Note:

The titles like (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc) cannot be entertained in this formula and should be removed so this formula can work perfectly.


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