Skip to main content

Excel Formula Extract path from file name

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-03-23

If you want to extract the path from full path and file name, you can use a formula which combines the LEFT, FIND, SUBSTITUTE and LEN functions to handle it. The formula is a little long, but this tutorial will explain how the formula works for you.
doc extract extension from file name 5

Generic formula:



Path: the cell reference or text string contains file path and file name.

How this formula work

Take an instance: to extract the path from cell B3, which contains full path and the file name, please use below formula:


Press Enter key to extract the path from the cell.
doc extract path from full path 2


To extract the path from the full path and file name, firstly, the formula counts the number of character “\” by the LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions, then replace the last “\” with a special character “?” by the SUBSTITUTE function, finally, find the special character “?” and extract the path by using the FIND and LEFT functions.

LEN function returns the number of characters in the text string.

SUBSTITUTE function replaces old text with a new one.

The formula LEN(B3)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(B3,"\","")) counts the number of characters "\".


doc extract path from full path 3

SUBSTITUTE(B3,"\","?",LEN(B3)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(B3,"\",""))) replaces the fourth "\" with "?".


doc extract path from full path 4

FIND function is used to find a string within another string, and returns the starting position of the string inside the other one.

The formula FIND("?",SUBSTITUTE(B3,"\","?",LEN(B3)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(B3,"\","")))) finds the position of “?” in the text string "C:\Users\AddinTestWin10\Documents?description.xlsx".


doc extract path from full path 5

LEFT function extracts substring with fixed length from left side of the given text.


doc extract path from full path 6

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file

Relative Formulas

Relative Functions

The Best Office Productivity Tools

Kutools for Excel - Helps You To Stand Out From Crowd

🤖 Kutools AI Aide: Revolutionize data analysis based on: Intelligent Execution   |  Generate Code  |  Create Custom Formulas  |  Analyze Data and Generate Charts  |  Invoke Kutools Functions
Popular Features: Find, Highlight or Identify Duplicates  |  Delete Blank Rows  |  Combine Columns or Cells without Losing Data  |  Round without Formula ...
Super VLookup: Multiple Criteria  |  Multiple Value  |  Across Multi-Sheets  |  Fuzzy Lookup...
Adv. Drop-down List: Easy Drop Down List  |  Dependent Drop Down List  |  Multi-select Drop Down List...
Column Manager: Add a Specific Number of Columns  |  Move Columns  |  Toggle Visibility Status of Hidden Columns  Compare Columns to Select Same & Different Cells ...
Featured Features: Grid Focus  |  Design View  |  Big Formula Bar  |  Workbook & Sheet Manager | Resource Library (Auto Text)  |  Date Picker  |  Combine Worksheets  |  Encrypt/Decrypt Cells  |  Send Emails by List  |  Super Filter  |  Special Filter (filter bold/italic/strikethrough...) ...
Top 15 Toolsets12 Text Tools (Add Text, Remove Characters ...)  |  50+ Chart Types (Gantt Chart ...)  |  40+ Practical Formulas (Calculate age based on birthday ...)  |  19 Insertion Tools (Insert QR Code, Insert Picture from Path ...)  |  12 Conversion Tools (Numbers to Words, Currency Conversion ...)  |  7 Merge & Split Tools (Advanced Combine Rows, Split Excel Cells ...)  |  ... and more

Kutools for Excel Boasts Over 300 Features, Ensuring That What You Need is Just A Click Away...


Office Tab - Enable Tabbed Reading and Editing in Microsoft Office (include Excel)

  • One second to switch between dozens of open documents!
  • Reduce hundreds of mouse clicks for you every day, say goodbye to mouse hand.
  • Increases your productivity by 50% when viewing and editing multiple documents.
  • Brings Efficient Tabs to Office (include Excel), Just Like Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Comments (0)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
There are no comments posted here yet
Please leave your comments in English
Posting as Guest
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations