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Excel Formula: Extract initials from names

There are several methods can extract each initials from a list of names in Excel, here in this tutorial, it provides a formula to handle this job.
doc extract extension from file name 5

Generic formula:

=LEFT(name)&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",name)),MID(name,FIND(" ",name)+1,1),"")&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",name,FIND(" ",name)+1)),MID(name,FIND(" ",name,FIND(" ",name)+1)+1,1),"")


Name: the full names you want to extract the initials.


This formula only extract initials from first three words, start from the forth word, it will ignore.

How this formula work

To extract initials from cell B3, please us below formula:

=LEFT(B3)&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1,1),"")&IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)+1,1),"")

Press Enter key, then the first letter of each word has been extracted.


As this formula combine three formulas with “&”, here explains three formulas in three parts

First part LEFT(B3)

LEFT function extracts text from left side of a text based on the given position. Here LEFT(B3) extracts first letter from left side of the text in cell B3, “N”.

Second part IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1,1),"")

FIND function finds a string within another string, and returns the starting position of the string inside another oneMID function returns the substring of a given text based on the given position and text length.

MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1,1) returns
MID(B3,7+1,1) returns

ISNUMBER function returns TRUE if the cell contains number, if not, it returns FALSE.

IF function tests for a certain condition.

IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1,1),"") returns
IF(ISNUMBER(7),”J”,"") returns
IF(TRUE,”J”,"") returns

Third part IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)+1,1),"")

MID function extract text from a text based on the given position and number of length.

MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)+1,1) returns
MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3,7+1)+1,1) returns
MID(B3,13+1,1) returns

IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)),MID(B3,FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)+1,1),"") returns
=IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(" ",B3,FIND(" ",B3)+1)),"C","") returns
=IF(ISNUMBER(13),"C","") returns

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file

Relative Formulas

Relative Functions

  • LEFT function
    Extract text from left side.
  • FIND 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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