You can use the following formula in Excel to extract the first initial and last name from a full name in a cell:

=LEFT(A2,1)&" "&(TEXTAFTER(A2," "))

This particular example extracts the first initial and last name from the full name in cell **A2**.

For example, if cell **A2** contained the full name **John Smith** then this formula would return **J Smith**.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: Extract First Initial and Last Name in Excel**

Suppose we have the following list of full names in Excel:

Suppose we would like to extract the first initial and last name from each full name.

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to do so:

=LEFT(A2,1)&" "&(TEXTAFTER(A2," "))

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B now contains the first initial and last name of each full name in column A.

**How This Formula Works**

Recall the formula that we used to extract the first initial and last name from the full name (John Smith) in cell **A2**:

=LEFT(A2,1)&" "&(TEXTAFTER(A2," "))

Here is how this formula works:

First, we used **LEFT(A2,1)** to extract the first character from the cell.

This extracted **J**.

Then we used** &” “&** to concatenate a single space.

Then we used **TEXTAFTER(A2, ” “)** to extract all text after the space in the cell.

This extracted **Smith**.

The end result is that the formula returned** J Smith**.

The same logic was used to extract the first initial and last name from each full name in column A.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Count Frequency of Text in Excel

How to Check if Cell Contains Text from List in Excel

How to Calculate Average If Cell Contains Text in Excel