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Excel Formula: Extract first line of cell

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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