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How to extract first letter of each word from cell?

Supposing you have a list of countries’ name in your worksheet, and now, you need to extract the first letter of each word in the cell as following screenshots shown. Normally, there is no direct feature to pick up the first letter of each word in Excel. But, here, I can talk about a useful way to solve this task.

doc-extract-first-letter1

Extract first letter of each word from Cell with User Defined Function

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arrow blue right bubbleExtract first letter of each word from Cell with User Defined Function


In Excel, you can create a User Defined Function to extract the first letters of every words in a cell. Please do as this:

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.< /p>

Function GetFirstLetters(rng As Range) As String
'Update 20140325
    Dim arr
    Dim I As Long
    arr = VBA.Split(rng, " ")
    If IsArray(arr) Then
        For I = LBound(arr) To UBound(arr)
            GetFirstLetters = GetFirstLetters & Left(arr(I), 1)
        Next I
    Else
        GetFirstLetters = Left(arr, 1)
    End If
End Function

3. Then save and close this code, go back the worksheet, and enter this formula =GetFirstLetters(A2) (A2 indicates the cell which you want to extract the first letter, you can change it as you need) into a blank cell. See screenshot:

doc-extract-first-letter1

4. And then press Enter key, and select cell B2, then drag the fill handle to the cells that you want to apply this formula. And all the first letters have been extracted from the series of words, see screenshot:

doc-extract-first-letter1


Related article:

How to extract first / last / nth word from text string in Excel?


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Griggs · 2 months ago
    This is awesome. Such a time saver
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Steven · 3 months ago
    This code is good for upto five words, where D20 is the cell with data.



    =IF(ISERR(LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",
    $D$20)+1)+1)+1)+1,1)),IF(ISERR(LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1)+1,1)),
    IF(ISERR(LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)),
    IF(ISERR(LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)),
    IF(ISERR(LEFT($D$20,1)),"",LEFT($D$20,1)),LEFT($D$20,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)),LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)),
    LEFT($D$20,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1)+1,1)),LEFT($D$20,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1,1)&MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)+1)+1,1)
    &MID($D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20,SEARCH(" ",$D$20)+1)
    +1)+1)+1,1))
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Oleg · 1 years ago
    Подскажите пожалуйста, можно ли модифицировать код чтобы забиралась не первые а Заглавные буквы?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    nawal jha · 2 years ago
    i think it has one bug, it's automatically removed from module when sheet is closed, need to again every time when open sheet same process to be required, please advice how to save this formula in excel permanently.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    NoOne · 3 years ago
    Please include this part:

    If you create a function called DISCOUNT in a workbook called Personal.xlsb and you call that function from another workbook, you must type =personal.xlsb!discount(), not simply =discount().

    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-Custom-Functions-in-Excel-2007-2f06c10b-3622-40d6-a1b2-b6748ae8231f
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Adam Pavey · 3 years ago
    Very helpful. Exactly what I was after.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sridhar · 3 years ago
    Thank you very much.. its working.. u rocks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Then · 4 years ago
    Thanks you are the best
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sanjay · 5 years ago
    i want to know how date is converted to text. for example 11.02.1998 as Eleven February Nineteen Ninety Eight