You can use the following formula with the **LEFT** and **FIND** function to extract all of the text before a space is encountered in some cell in Excel:

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

This particular formula extracts all of the text in cell **A2** that occurs before the first space is encountered.

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

**Example: Using LEFT to Extract Text Before Space**

Suppose we have the following list in Excel that provides a brief description of different basketball players including their team, position, and ranking:

Now suppose that we would like to extract only the team name for each player.

To do so, we can use the following formula with the **LEFT** and **FIND** functions in Excel to extract the text from the left side of each cell until a space is encountered:

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

We can type this formula into cell B2 and then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B now displays only the team name for each player in column A.

It’s worth noting that if no space is found in the Player Description column, the formula will return **#VALUE!** as a result.

To return a different value, simply use the **IFERROR()** function.

For example, we can use the following **IFERROR()** function to return “No space” if a space is not found in a given player description:

=IFERROR(LEFT(A2, FIND(" ", A2)-1), "No space")

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

Note that you can also return a different value by simply replacing “No space” with some other value in the **IFERROR()** function.

**Additional Resources**

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

Excel: A Formula for LEFT Until Specific Character

Excel: How to Use MID Function to End of String

Excel: How to Use MID Function for Variable Length Strings