Many times, I found myself struggling with handling initials. In this article, you can learn how to manage initials with Excel. I’ll share a few tricks for handling initials using Excel formulas.

Here are some useful tricks for handling initials within Excel, all compiled in this article.

## Extracting Initials from a Name

Let’s start with a straightforward task: obtaining two-letter initials using this formula:

=LEFT($A1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)

This formula retrieves the first name and surname initials, generating a two-letter combination.

## Getting initials from a first name, middle name, and surname

More advanced one. Use this one when the first name, middle name, and surname are always provided. Below, one will help you:

=LEFT($A1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)&MID(RIGHT($A1,LEN($A1)-FIND(” “,$A1,1)),FIND(” “,RIGHT(,LEN($A1)-FIND(” “,$A1,1)))+1,1)

This formula gives you three initial letters. It will not work when there is no middle name provided.

## Getting initials from a full name

This is a complex formula which you can use to extract initials no matter what exactly you have in your data.

=IF(LEN($A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($A1,” “,””))=0,LEFT($A1,1),IF(LEN($A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($A1,” “,””))=1,LEFT($A1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1),LEFT($A1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1,1)&MID($A1,FIND(” “,$A1,FIND(” “,$A1)+1)+1,1)))

This formula is complicated but works every time.

## Getting the first name and surname (without middle name)

Use the below formula when you don’t care about middle names.

=LEFT($A1,SEARCH(” “,$A1))&RIGHT($A1,LEN($A1)-SEARCH(” “,$A1,SEARCH(” “,$A1)+1))

This formula simplifies your data and cuts off middle names.

## Changing order of first name, middle name and surname

Thanks to this formula, you can change the order. In my example, you will get: surname coma space first name initial of middle name

=RIGHT($A1,LEN(G2)-FIND(“.”,$A1)-1)&”, “&LEFT($A1,FIND(“.”,$A1))

Whether you’re dealing with simple first and last names or more complex full names with middle initials, the formulas shared in this article will help streamline your process.