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Excel/Extracting data from a string of data


Hi Tom

Is there a way of extracting a surname from a string of data, the complication being that the surname is not always the same length? It does however always start at the same place in the string - see example below:

I Dixon w/e 8.11.13 (6 hrs o/t)
J Ruffel w/e 8.11.13 (12 hrs)
R Elliott w/e 8.11.13 (33 hrs)

The surname always starts at position 3 in the string.  Could I use the MID command somehow?




for the examples you show (no spaces in the surname), you can use
=MID(A1,3,FIND(" ",A1,3)-2)

this is written to find the surname from the string in A1

A perhaps more robust approach would be to look for the w/e to determine the end of the surname


In each case I have assumed the surname starts as the 3rd character which you indicated to be true in your question.

Tom Ogilvy

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Tom Ogilvy


Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]


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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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Microsoft MVP in Excel.

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