Excel: How to Extract Last Word from Cell

You can use the following formula to extract the last word from a cell in Excel:

=TEXTAFTER(A2, " ", -1)

This particular formula extracts the last word from cell A2.

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

Example: How to Extract Last Word in Excel

Suppose we have the following column of strings in Excel:

Suppose we would like to extract the last word from each cell in column A.

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

=TEXTAFTER(A2, " ", -1)

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

Excel extract last word from cell

Column B now contains the last word from each corresponding cell in column A.

For example:

  • The formula extracts manatee from My favorite animal is a manatee
  • The formula extracts day from This is a great day
  • The formula extracts fun from We should have fun

And so on.

How This Formula Works

The TEXTAFTER function in Excel extracts all text in a cell after a specific character or substring.

This function uses the following syntax:

TEXTAFTER(text, delimiter, [instance_num], [match_mode], [match_end], [if_not_found])


  • text: Text to search
  • delimiter: Character or substring to extract text after
  • instance_num (optional): Instance of delimiter after 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

Recall that we used the following syntax to extract the last word from cell A2:

=TEXTAFTER(A2, " ", -1)

By using a value of -1 for the instance_num argument, we were able to specify that we wanted to extract the text after the last instance of a space.

This is the same as extracting the last word from the cell.

Note: You can find the complete documentation for the TEXTAFTER 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

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