# Extract text in Excel the Easy way

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!)

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## 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 second space from cell A2.

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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