You can use the **TEXTBEFORE** function in Excel to extract all text in a cell before a specific character or substring.

This function uses the following syntax:

**TEXTBEFORE(text, delimiter, [instance_num], [match_mode], [match_end], [if_not_found])**

where:

**text**: Text to search**delimiter**: Character or substring to extract text before**instance_num (optional)**: Instance of delimiter before which to extract text (default is 1)**match_mode (optional)**: 0 = case-sensitive (default), 1 = case-insensitive**match_end (optional)**: Treat end of text as delimiter (disabled by default)**if_not_found (optional)**: Value to return if delimiter is not found

The following examples show the most common ways to use this function with the following dataset in Excel:

**Example 1: Extract Text Before Substring**

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to extract the text in cell **A2** before the substring “is” is encountered:

=TEXTBEFORE(A2, "is")

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

Column B contains the text in column A before the substring “is” is encountered.

**Example 2: Extract Text Before First Space**

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to extract the text in cell **A2** before the first space is encountered:

=TEXTBEFORE(A2, " ")

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

Column B contains the text in column A before the first space is encountered.

**Example 3: Extract Text Before Nth Space**

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to extract the text in cell **A2** before the third space is encountered:

=TEXTBEFORE(A2, " ", 3)

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

Column B contains all of the text in column A before the third space is encountered.

**Note**: You can find the complete documentation for the **TEXTBEFORE** function in Excel here.

**Additional Resources**

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

Excel: How to Remove Specific Text from Cells

Excel: How to Remove Special Characters

Excel: How to Insert a Character into a String