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Excel Formula: Extract first line of cell

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-03-03

In sometimes, there are several lines of contents in one Excel cell, if you just want to extract first line of contents into another cell, you can use a formula combined with LEFT function and SEARCH function.
doc extract first line 1

Generic formula:

LEFT(txt, SEARCH(CHAR(10), txt)-1)


Txt: the cell contents you want to extract first line from.


If there is blank or no char(10)(line break) in the text, it returns error value #VALUE!.

How this formula work

To extract first line from cell C3, please use below formula:

=LEFT(C3, SEARCH(CHAR(10), C3)-1)

Press Enter key.
doc extract first line 2


CHAR(10): the line break.

SEARCH function finds the starting position of a character or text string in a given text. Here the formula SEARCH(CHAR(10), C3) finds the starting position of CHAR, returns 8.

LEFT function extracts text from left side of a text based on the given position. The formula =LEFT(C3, SEARCH(CHAR(10), C3)-1) can be seen as =LEFT(C3, 8-1), extracts 7 characters from left side of cell C3, returns “Combine”.

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file

Relative Formulas

Relative Functions

  • LEFT function
    Extract text from left side.
  • SEARCH function
    Find a string within another string, and returns the starting position of the string inside another one.
  • IF function
    Test for conditions.
  • MID function
    Extract part of text from a cell value based on the location and length.

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