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How to extract initials from names in Excel?

When you are processing customer records or doing mail merge, getting initials from a given name may be useful for you, for instance, HG for Hal Greer. So here I introduce some tricks for you to quickly extract initials from the name list in Excel.

Extract initials with formula in Excel

Extract initials use Defined Function in Excel

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arrow blue right bubble Extract initials with formula in Excel


First method is using formula to extract initials from names in Microsoft Excel.

Select a blank cell, for instance, Cell C2, type this formula =LEFT(A2)&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",A2)),MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1,1),"")&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)),MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)+1,1),"")(A2 is the first cell of your name list), press Enter button, then drag the fill handle to fill the range. Now you see all initials of each name are extracted from the name list.


arrow blue right bubble Extract initials use Defined Function in Excel

Besides formula, you can use the Defined Function to extract initials from specified names easily in Microsoft Excel.

1. Select a cell of the column you want to select and press Alt + F11 to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the pop-up window, click Insert > Module, then paste the following VBA code into the module.

VBA: Extract initials from names

Function FirstCharacters(pWorkRng As Range) As String
'Updateby20140514
Dim arr As Variant
Dim xValue As String
Dim OutValue As String
xValue = pWorkRng.Value
arr = VBA.Split(Trim(xValue))
For i = 0 To UBound(arr)
    OutValue = OutValue & VBA.Left(arr(i), 1) & "."
Next
FirstCharacters = OutValue
End Function

3. Save the code and close the window, select a blank cell and type this formula = FirstCharacters(A2), then press Enter button, and drag the fill handle to fill the range you want. After that, you can see the initials of each name are extracted.

Tip: You can change the separators "." of the initials as you need in the above VBA.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Kasun D · 7 months ago
    hi there
    I Want to sort full name in to a new format if excel cell has text character more than 25 how to show it in initials and last name
    Ex 01:- name has more than 25 characters
    Full Name : Mildred Dresselhaus Lene Vestergaard Hau
    Show as : M.D.L Vestergaard Hau
    (it may add if more initials are ther for a long name)
    Ex 02:-
    Full Name : Enrico Fermi
    Show as : Enrico Fermi
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    abedir · 1 years ago
    If the text contains more than 03 words
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    JD · 1 years ago
    This works!!! Thank you!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Cristina · 4 years ago
    Thank you! :lol: quite useful!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    mattarno · 5 years ago
    lovely - thanks for this!!