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elliottbenzle asked on

Excel - subtract string to create a new column

In Excel I have two columns with strings, one has a full name and one has a first name. Like this:

column 1                              column 2
Christina Swartz                 Christina
Ms. Jill A. Swedlow             Ms. Jill A.
Mr. Ralph (Ed) Sweet           Mr. Ralph (Ed)

I want to use some kind of an equation in a third column that will fill that column with only the last name. I don't know excel very well, but I think it would look something like this:

Column C = Column 1 - Column 2

Does anyone know how to do this? or if it's even possible?

Microsoft ExcelSpreadsheetsMicrosoft Office

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Last Comment
zorvek (Kevin Jones)

8/22/2022 - Mon
zorvek (Kevin Jones)

Use this formula:

=LEFT(A1,LEN(A1)-LEN(TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",REPT(" ",99)),99)))-1)


That always enter the word 'first' into the field.

@Kevin: I think he already has column two...


Please try one of these:

= TRIM(MID(A1,LEN(B1)+1,1000))
= MID(A1,LEN(A1)-LEN(TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",REPT(" ",99)),99)))+1,99)
1: replaces the first name with "" (and trim result)
2: skip from A the length of B (and trim result)
3: extract last word from A (based on Kevin's expression)

This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.

> That always enter the word 'first' into the field.

When posting an expression, we always assume that the data is in cell A1, unless stated otherwise. Put “Christina Swartz” in cell A1 and “Christina” in cell B1, then try the functions in cells C1, D1, etc.

G Trurab Khan

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