To extract the first word in the text string, you need to find the relative location of the space, then use Left Function.

**Formula:**

Copy the formula and replace "A1" with the cell name that contains the text you would like to extract.

=IF(LEN(A1)- LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""))<1, A1, LEFT(A1,FIND(" ",A1)-1))

**Example:**

To extract the first word from the text string "** How to extract the first Word**".

The result returns the first word "How".

**Explanations:**

**Step 1:** To find the location of the first space

Formula | =FIND(" ",A1) |
---|---|

Result | 4 |

**Step 2:** Pick up the letters before the first space

Formula | =LEFT(A1, FIND(" ",A1)-1) |
---|---|

Result | How |

However, when text string has no space, the formula "=LEFT(A1, FIND(" ",A1)-1)" returns #VALUE! error. To avoid this, you need to combine with IF Function.

=IF(LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""))<1, A1, LEFT(A1,FIND(" ",A1)-1))

=SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","") to replace spaces in the text string;

=LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","")) to count the length of the text string when spaces are replaced;

=LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","")) to count the number of spaces in the text string.

When the number of spaces is less than 1 (meaning a word), use **IF function** to return the text string itself.

Another method is to use **ISERROR Function** to check whether the text string contains spaces:

=IF(ISERROR(FIND(" ",A1))=TRUE, A1, LEFT(A1,FIND(" ",A1)-1))