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 How to extract first two or n words from text string?

If you have a list of text strings which are separated by space, and now, you want to extract first three or n words from the cell value to get the following screenshot result. This article, I will introduce some formulas to extract first two or n words from text string in Excel.

doc extract first 2 words 1

Extract first two or n words from text string with formulas


Split Cell values into multiple columns and rows by specific separator:

With Kutools for Excel’s Split Cells utility, you can quickly split text string in a cell into multiple columns or rows by space, comma, new line and any other separators you specified.

doc split cells-1-1


arrow blue right bubble Extract first two or n words from text string with formulas


In this example, I will extract first three words from the cell, please apply the following formulas:

Enter any one of the following formulas into a blank cell, C2, for instance, and then drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to contain this formula, and all the first 3 words have been extracted from the corresponding cells, see screenshot:

=TRIM(LEFT(A2, FIND("~",SUBSTITUTE(A2, " ", "~",3)&"~")))

=LEFT(TRIM(A2),FIND("^",SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A2)&" "," ","^",3))-1)

doc extract first 2 words 2

Note: If your text strings in column A, and the number of words desired in column B, to extract the different number of first n words, you can apply this formula: =TRIM(LEFT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",1000),B2),1000)), and you will get the following result as you need.

doc extract first 2 words 3


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    Felipe · 5 months ago
    It works just fine for me. However, I am trying to understand the logic behind this formula:

    =TRIM(LEFT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",1000),B2),1000))


    Can somebody please explain it to me like I am 5?

    Cheers,