How to Handle Names and Initials in Excel

There are many times when initials made me crazy. In this article you can teach yourself how to handle initials with Excel. A few tricks for you here.

A few tricks for you how to handle initials within Excel. All of them combined in this article.

Getting initials from a name

Let’s start from the easiest one. When only two-lettered initials needed just use:

=LEFT($A1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)

This formula will extract you initials of first name and surname. Two letters only.

Two letter initials

Getting initials from a first name, middle name and surname

More advanced one. Use this one when always first name, middle name and surname provided. Below one will help you:

=LEFT($A1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)&MID(RIGHT($A1,LEN($A1)-FIND(” “,$A1,1)),FIND(” “,RIGHT(,LEN($A1)-FIND(” “,$A1,1)))+1,1) 

This formula give you three initial letters. It will not work when no middle name provided.


Getting initials from full name

This is a complex formula which you can use to extract initials no matter what exactly you have in your data.

=IF(LEN($A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($A1,” “,””))=0,LEFT($A1,1),IF(LEN($A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($A1,” “,””))=1,LEFT($A1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1),LEFT($A1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1)+1,1))) 

This formula is complicated but works every time.

How to handle names and initials

Getting first name and surname (without middle name)

Use below formula when you don’t care about middle names.

=LEFT($A1,SEARCH(” “,$A1))&RIGHT($A1,LEN($A1)-SEARCH(” “,$A1,SEARCH(” “,$A1)+1)) 

This formula simplifies your data and cuts middle names off.

Name without middle name

Changing order of first name, middle name and surname

Thanks to this formula you can change the order. In my example you will get: surname coma space first name initial of middle name

=RIGHT($A1,LEN(G2)-FIND(“.”,$A1)-1)&”, “&LEFT($A1,FIND(“.”,$A1)) 

Changing order

I hope this article makes your life easier. Thanks to it you will handle names and initials easier.


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