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How to extract first or first two words from text strings in Google sheet?

If you need to extract the first or first two or n words from a list of text strings as following screenshot shown in Google sheet, how could you achieve it as quickly as you want?

Extract the first word from text strings in Google sheet

Extract the first two or n words from text strings in Google sheet

Extract the first word from text strings in Google sheet

To extract only the first word from a list of text strings, please apply the following simple formula.

Enter this formula: =LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2)-1) into a blank cell where you want to locate the result, press Enter key to get the result from A2, then drag the fill handle down to the cells which you want to extract the first word, see screenshot:

Extract the first two or n words from text strings in Google sheet

If you need to extract the first 2 or 3 or n words from the text strings, you should use the below formula.

For extracting the first two words, please enter this formula: =regexextract(A2,"[\w]* [\w]*") into a blank cell, and press Enter key, the first two words of Cell A2 will be displayed, then drag the fill handle down to the cells to extract the first two words from the list of text strings, see screenshot:

Note: To extract the first three words, you should apply this formula: =regexextract(A2,"[\w]* [\w]* [\w]*"), to extract first n words, you just need to add [\w]* n times in the formula.

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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Holy Aweseom!
Maybe I missed it - i'll read through - but can you Bypass 1st word and get only second word? And then bypass 1st & 2nd word and get only 3rd?
Robert L
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I ran into a more complex problem. I needed to switch the last name and first name (because they were listed as "Owens Bronson, Jenny Olivia" [Yes! that complex!]) and also take out the middle name... and on top of that I needed it to dynamically reference cells because those cells were linked to another document. And... on top of that, many of the last names were double last names. I ended up coming up with the formula (which is a combination of some formulae I found and some personal trial and error) and I thought it might help someone:
=IF(ISTEXT(TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE(E53," ",REPT(" ",LEN(E53))), FIND(",",SUBSTITUTE(E53," ",REPT(" ",LEN(E53))))+LEN(E53)+1, LEN(E53)))&" "&LEFT(E53,FIND(",",E53)-1)),TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE(E53," ",REPT(" ",LEN(E53))), FIND(",",SUBSTITUTE(E53," ",REPT(" ",LEN(E53))))+LEN(E53)+1, LEN(E53)))&" "&LEFT(E53,FIND(",",E53)-1),"")
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