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Remove middle name from full name in Excel

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2023-05-29

If you have a list of full names which contains first, middle and last names, now, you would like to remove the middle names from the full names to get the below screenshot result. This article, I will introduce some formulas for dealing with this task in Excel.


Remove middle name from full name with formula

Normally, your middle names are between the first and last names, in this case, to remove them, you should apply the LEFT, FIND, TRIM, RIGHT SUBSTITUTE and REPT functions together.

Please copy or enter the below formula into a blank cell:

=LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2))&TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)),99))

Then, drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, and all middle names have been removed at once, see screenshot:

Explanation of the formula:

1. LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2)):

  • FIND(" ",A2): This FIND function will get the position of the first space in cell A2, the result is: 6.
  • LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2))=LEFT(A2, 6): This LEFT function will extract 6 characters from the text string in cell A2, so the first name will be returned.

2. TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)),99)):

  • SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)): The SUBSTITUTE function will replace the space character within the text string with 99 space characters in cell A2. The result is like this: “Nicol ( 99 space) Jr.( 99 space) Wood”.
  • RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)),99):This RIGHT function is used to extract 99 characters from the right side of the text string which is returned by the SUBSTITUTE function.
  • TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)),99)): The TRIM function will remove all extra spaces from the result. This will get the last name.

3. LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2))&TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",99)),99)): At last, using the & symbol to join the two parts of formula to get the result as you need.


Remove middle name from end of name with formula

Sometime, your full names are formatted as first, last and middle names, to remove the middle initial from the end of name as below screenshot shown, how could you achieve it?

Please apply the following formula into a blank cell:

=LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-1)

And then, drag the fill handle down to fill this formula to other cells you need, and you will get the following result as you need:

Explanation of the formula:

1. FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-1:

  • FIND(" ",A2)+1): This FIND function is used to get the first space character from the cell A2, adding 1 means to find the position of the character next to the first space. The result is: 7.
  • FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-1=FIND(" ",A2, 7)-1: This FIND function will return the position of the second space in cell A2. Subtracting 1 means to exclude the space character. And this will get the number 10.

2. LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-1)=LEFT(A2, 10): Finally, the LEFT function will extract 10 characters from left side of the cell A2, so the first and last names will be returned and the middle name at the end will be removed.

Note: If some of the full names only contain the first and last names, the above formula will get an error result, in this case, please apply the following formula:

=IFERROR(LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-1),A2)


Relative functions used:

  • LEFT:
  • The LEFT function extracts the given number of characters from the left side of a supplied string.
  • RIGHT:
  • The RIGHT function is used to extract a specific number of characters from the right side of the text string.
  • FIND:
  • The FIND function is used to find a string within another string, and returns the starting position of the string inside another one.
  • TRIM:
  • The TRIM function removes all extra spaces from text string and only keeps single spaces between words.
  • SUBSTITUTE:
  • The Excel SUBSTITUTE function replaces text or characters within a text string with another text or characters.
  • REPT:
  • In Excel, the REPT function is used to repeat the characters a specified number of times.

More articles:

  • Flip Or Reverse First And Last Names In Excel List
  • If you have a list of full names which are formatted as last name and first name, now, you want to flip the last and first names to first and last as below screenshot shown. This article, I will introduce some formulas for dealing with this job in Excel.
  • Extract First Middle And Last Names From Full Name In Excel
  • Supposing, you have a list of user names, now, you would like to split the full names to first, middle and last names in separated columns as following screenshot shown. This article, I will introduce some formulas for dealing with this job in Excel.
  • Extract First Initial And Last Name From Full Name
  • Supposing, you have a list of full names, now, you would like to extract the first initial and last name or first name and first character of last name from the full name as below screenshots shown. How could you deal with these tasks in Excel workbook?
  • Separate Email Addresses To Usernames And Domains In Excel
  • Normally, the Email address is consisted of user name, @ symbol and domain name, but, sometimes, you may need to split the Email address into separate username and domain name as below screenshot shown, this article, I will introduce some formulas for splitting the Email addresses in Excel.

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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
thank thank you!!!!!! been looking hard for this formula. However, what if there are commas? for example DOE, JOHN E. and I just wanted to remove the Initial? Also there are some Last names that are 2 (IE. JAVIER RODRIGUEZ, JOHN E) or have 2 first names (IE DOE, JOHN HENRY E.).

What would be a formula for this? because I was trying to figure out the one above to where there is a comma in these and brain is melted:(((. I dont want to remove commas just the initial. TYSM for your advance assistance! it is greatly appreciated.

DOE, JOHN E
JAVIER RODRIGUEZ, JOHN E
DOE, JOHN HENRY E
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Henry,
To solve your problem, the following formula may help you:
=TRIM(LEFT(A1,LEN(A1)-LEN(MID(A1,SEARCH("@",SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","@",LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","")))),LEN(A1)))))


Please have a try, thank you!
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