The **TEXTSPLIT** function in Excels can be used to split text based on a specific delimiter.

To get the first item that results from this function, you can use the following syntax:

=CHOOSECOLS(TEXTSPLIT(A2, " "), 1)

This particular example will split the text in cell **A2** using a space as a delimiter and then it will return only the first item that results from the split.

For example, if the string in cell **A2** is **Andy Bernard** then this formula will return **Andy**.

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

**Example: How to Split Text and Get First Item in Excel**

Suppose we have the following column of names in Excel:

Suppose we would like to split the names based on where a space occurs and then get only the first item that results from the split.

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

=CHOOSECOLS(TEXTSPLIT(A2, " "), 1)

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

The formula splits the names in column A based on where the space occurs and then only returns the first item from the split.

For this particular example, the first name of each person in column A is returned.

Note that if you’d like to return the second item instead, you can replace **1 **with **2 **in the formula:

=CHOOSECOLS(TEXTSPLIT(A2, " "), 2)

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

This time the formula returns the second item from the split.

**How This Formula Works**

Recall the formula that we used to split the text and get the first item from the resulting split:

=CHOOSECOLS(TEXTSPLIT(A2, " "), 1)

Here is how this formula works:

First, the **TEXTSPLIT **function splits the text in cell **A2** based on where the space occurs.

For example, the name **Andy Bernard** is split into one column that contains **Andy** and a second column that contains **Bernard**.

Next, the **CHOOSECOLS **function selects only the first column from the output.

The end result is that we’re able to get only the first item from the split, which is **Andy**.

**Additional Resources**

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

Excel: How to Split String Based on Multiple Delimiters

Excel: How to Split Date into Day, Month and Year

Excel: How to Split String by Specific Length