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Excel tip: How can I split the first and last name?

Date: 31 october 2006


How can I divide/split a cell that contains a first name and last name as in "Kay Bryan"? I want each part of the name to be a cell so that I can alphabetize by the last name.


Chip Pearson has written an nice article on how to do this with the use of worksheet formulas: www.cpearson.com/excel/FirstLast.htm.

If you always just have a first and a last name you can also use Excel's "Data" » "Text to columns" to have the cells split at a certain character, for example a space or comma.
  • Select the list
  • In the Excel menu choose Data » Text to columns
  • Choose delimited, next
  • Check the delimiter, for example space or comma and "treat consecutive delimiters as one"
  • Click the finish button.

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