**How to extract the first word from some text**? We will show you various solutions using the FIND, LEFT, and ExtractWord function in Excel.

## Generic formula to get the first word

`=LEFT(text,FIND(" ",text)-1)`

### Explanation of the regular formula

As first, place the initial data set. The main point of the formula the following:

The **FIND function** locates and gets the position of the first occurrence of a space (“ “) character in the given cell (text).

The formula returns the position as a number.

After that, – starting from the first character of the string – the **LEFT function** extract the characters until the length of the first word – 1. We have to cut the last character because it’s the space.

In today’s example, the formula looks like this:

`=LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2)-1)`

**How to get the first word** if the cell contains only one word?

**Error handling** is important if you want to show that something went wrong.

If we use the above-mentioned formula, we’ll get a #VALUE! error. It is important to prevent formula errors **use the IFERROR function**.

In the example:

`=IFERROR(LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2)-1),”The cell contains one word”)`

In this case, we’ll get the first the word:

`=IFERROR(LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2)-1),A2)`

**Explanation:**

If an error occurs, the IFERROR expression returns with a user-specified message or the first word. Furthermore, it’s a smart way to handle the error: Add additional space to the cell value before running the FIND function.

`=LEFT(A2,FIND(" ",A2&" ")-1)`

**Known limitations**:

The above-demonstrated formula works only with the first space.

### Get first word using a user-defined function

Customization of built-in Excel formulas is not an easy task. But we’ll try it. Now we’ll introduce the ExtractNthWord function!

The solution looks like this:

`=ExtractNthWord(A4,1)`

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