Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on March 25, 2018

The formula in cell C3 grabs the first word in B3 using a blank as the delimiting character.

=LEFT(B3,SEARCH(" ",B3)-1)

The SEARCH function looks for a "space" character in cell B3 and returns 7, if you want to use a different delimiting character change the first argument in the SEARCH function.

We don't need the space character so we subtract the number returned from the SEARCH function with 1.

The LEFT function then extracts the first word in cell B3 using the calculated number.

The following formula warns if the delimiting character is not found.

=IF(COUNT(SEARCH(" ",B3)),LEFT(B3,SEARCH(" ",B3)-1),"Wrong delimiting character?")

The SEARCH function returns #VALUE error if the delimiting character is not found. The COUNT function counts how many numbers are in a cell or cell range, it also ignores errors which come handy in this case.

The COUNT function returns 0 (zero) in cell B3 and the IF function interprets that as a FALSE. The third argument in the IF function is returned "Wrong delimiting character?".

Download Excel *.xlsx file

Extract first word in cell.xlsx