Here are 5 quick formulas for you to extract text from cells in Excel.

Have you ever had a problem where you need to get a specific word from a string in another cell? This type of work is referred to as Data Manipulation, and is a very important skills to learn for anyone using MS Excel. (This can help a lot when creating Pivot Tables!)

**Contents**hide

## Extract text before first space (or comma or other character)

`=LEFT(A1,(FIND(" ",A1,1)-1))`

Note: if you need a comma or some other character instead of a space, replace the ” “ part with the character you need wrapped in double quotes.

**Extract text before first comma**

=LEFT(A1,(FIND(“,”,A1,1)-1))

**Extract text before first ???**

=LEFT(A1,(FIND(“???”,A1,1)-1))

This formula will extract the all the text from cell A1 that occurs before the first space. A great example of this is when you need to extract the first names from a column of full names.

We start with a list of Full Names in Column A, and we want to extract all the First Names to be in Column B.

- Select cell
**B2** - In the function bar, type the formula =LEFT(A2,(FIND(” “,A2,1)-1))
- Press the [Enter] or [Return] key

To apply the formula to the entire column, place your cursor in the lower right corner of the cell until you see the little + symbol.

Then just double click, and watch the magic!

## Extract text after first space (or comma or other character)

`=MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1,LEN(A2))`

Note: if you need a comma or some other character instead of a space, replace the ” “ part with the character you need wrapped in double quotes.

**Extract text after first comma**

=MID(A2,FIND(“,”,A2)+1,LEN(A2))

**Extract text after first ???**

=MID(A2,FIND(“???”,A2)+1,LEN(A2))

This formula will extract the ALL the text from cell A1 that occurs **after** the first space. A great example of this is when you need to extract the last names from a column of full names.

We start with a list of Full Names in Column A, and we want to extract all the Last Names to be in Column B.

- Select cell
**B2** - In the function bar, type the formula =MID(A2,FIND(” “,A2)+1,LEN(A2))
- Press the [Enter] or [Return] key

To apply the formula to the entire column, place your cursor in the lower right corner of the cell until you see the little + symbol.

Then just double click, and watch the magic!

## Extract text before *second* space (or comma or other character)

`=LEFT(A2, SEARCH(" ", A2, SEARCH(" ", A2) + 1))`

That complex formula above will get ALL the text from cell A2 that occurs *before** *the ** second** space.

If you need to get a specific word from a string with **commas** instead, then just replace ” “ with “,”. Like this formula below:

`=LEFT(A2, SEARCH(",", A2, SEARCH(",", A2) + 1))`

Note: the code above will include the trailing comma. If you need to strip off the last comma, then use this instead:

`=LEFT(A2, SEARCH(",", A2, SEARCH(",", A2) + 1)-1)`

**Pro Tip**: Once you have the formula entered in properly, you can very quickly apply it to the entire column: (scroll up to the previous sections for *“How To” *screenshots)

- Move cursor to bottom right hand corner of cell (with formula already entered)
- When you see the little + symbol, double click

## Extract text after *second* space (or comma or other character)

`=RIGHT(A2, LEN(A2) - (SEARCH(" ", A2, SEARCH(" ", A2) + 1)))`

The code above will extract ALL text ** after** the

**space from cell A2.**

*second*If you need to get a specific word from a string with **commas** instead, then just replace ” ” with “,”. Like this formula below:

`=RIGHT(A2, LEN(A2) - (SEARCH(",", A2, SEARCH(",", A2) + 1)))`

**Pro Tip**: Once you have the formula entered in properly, you can very quickly apply it to the entire column: (scroll up to the previous sections for *“How To” *screenshots)

- Move cursor to bottom right hand corner of cell (with formula already entered)
- When you see the little + symbol, double click

## Extract text between two spaces (or two commas or two characters)

`=MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1,FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-FIND(" ",A2))`

The code above will extract the string in A2 that is **between** two spaces. This is ideal when you have a Full Name column (firstName MiddleName lastName) and need to extract only the middle name.

If you need to extract a string from a comma delimited cell, then you could use this formula instead:

`=MID(A2,FIND(",",A2)+1,FIND(",",A2,FIND(",",A2)+1)-FIND(",",A2)-1)`

**Pro Tip**: Once you have the formula entered in properly, you can very quickly apply it to the entire column: (scroll up to the previous sections for *“How To” *screenshots)

- Move cursor to bottom right hand corner of cell (with formula already entered)
- When you see the little + symbol, double click

**Anything I missed?**

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