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Splitting Name into FirstName, MiddleName LastName

Posted on 2011-09-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a spreadsheet that has a column called “Patient Name”. This column has names of people in “LastName”,”FirstName” “Middle Name” format. Some have middle names and some don’t because it is optional.  I want to split this column into 3 columns “FirstName” “MiddleName” “LastName”. How can I accomplish this goal. Attached is a copy of the Excel spreadsheet with the 3 columns that are currently blank
Question by:Chrisjack001
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 36544815
LVL 50

Accepted Solution

barry houdini earned 668 total points
ID: 36544822
Hello Chrisjack001,

try these formulas in A2, B2 and C2 respectively

=MID(LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2&" ")-1),FIND(",",A2)+1,99)




see attached

regards, barry
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:barry houdini
ID: 36544829
Sorry, of course I meant B2, C2 and D2 as per the attachment....

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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:Glenn Ray
Glenn Ray earned 664 total points
ID: 36544889
Insert the following formulas in cells B2, C2, and D2, respectively and then copy down:

=IF(ISERR(FIND(" ",A2)),MID(A2,FIND(",",A2)+1,999),LEFT(MID(A2,FIND(",",A2)+1,999),FIND(" ",MID(A2,FIND(",",A2)+1,999))-1))

=IF(ISERR(FIND(" ",A2)),"",MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1,999))


This only works if there are no compound names like "SUE ANN" where a space separates two parts of a name.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Glenn Ray
ID: 36544932
Also, none of the above formulas from me or barryhoudini will catch names like

where there is a name suffix like "JR" or "III"  (i.e., FRANKLIN T BUELL III)
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:Patrick Matthews
Patrick Matthews earned 668 total points
ID: 36545008
Name parsing is something that sounds so easy, but can actualy get complex in a hurry.  I wrote an article on the subject here:


In my experience, you can rarely count on such "combined" names to be formatted consistently, and so I came up with a VBA aproach that, like any, has its limits, but is a little more fault tolerant.

1) Add the code from that article to a regular VBA module

2) Use formulae like this to get the name parts:


It will work no matter whether a middle name is supplied, but compound names can be problematic.  It will also--up to a point--handle common titles/suffixes.

Using GlennLRay's example in http:#a36544932, it will return invalid output for "BUELL,FRANKLIN T III", but it will work just fine for "BUELL III,FRANKLIN T III".

Also, my approach will not care if an entry is




Author Closing Comment

ID: 36550734
Thanks Guys
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 36550806

Glad to help!  If you have not already done so, I would really appreciate it if you could please return to my article
and click 'Yes' for the 'Was this helpful?' voting.


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