Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Reordering Last Name and First Name.

Reordering Last Name and First Name

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 27, 2015)

8

You may have a worksheet containing many cells with names that are in LastName, FirstName MI format. A common example of this would be an Excel worksheet designed to work as an expense account reporting form. You may want to convert these employee names into standard format, i.e. FirstName MI LastName. Performing this operation on more than a handful of cells can become quite cumbersome.

To make the conversion job easier, you can use a handy formula that rearranges the parts of the name for you. Assume that cell A1 contains the name Doe, Jane Q. and you want the conversion (Jane Q. Doe) to appear in cell B1. Place the following formula in B1:

=RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)-LEN(LEFT(A1,FIND(",",A1)
-1))-2) & " " & LEFT(A1,FIND(",",A1)-1)

The formula works by breaking the string based on the placement of the comma. The formula will also work with suffixes and multiple middle initials as long as there is one and only one comma present in the source cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2168) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Reordering Last Name and First Name.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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What is eight more than 7?

2016-11-28 11:42:28

Mary

I want a single cell formula that converts John Doe to Doe, John

Also will I need to change the heading name on that cell from what it currently is to Last Name, First Name if I want to put name in alphabetical order.

Thank you


2015-06-10 13:12:08

Sarah

To fill your formula for all the forms instead of just the first name(s) listed, just click on the + that appears in the bottom right corner of the cell and drag down.

I ran into a few issues, because my entries were not all last name, first name only entries. I had some middle names and double first names in there that did not work perfectly with the formula, so be sure to check the results. If you are happy with the results of the formula, copy and paste special the new column so the results are the new text, and not the text produced from the formula. This will allow you to edit other columns without messing up the text produced by the formula.


2015-05-14 20:54:32

Samantha Manderley

This tutorial was so very helpful to me. Christa's comment was extremely helpful as well. Thank you again!


2014-08-29 13:00:35

Christa

Last,First came out to be irst Last I adjusted the -2 to accommodate the lack of space between the words. This worked properly =RIGHT(A3,LEN(A3)-LEN(LEFT(A3,FIND(",",A3) -1))-1) & " " & LEFT(A3,FIND(",",A3)-1)


2013-04-13 13:41:20

Faith

I purchased tax records. They have last name, first name and NO commas between them. Is there a way to reorganize for first name and then last name> I have almost 2,000 names to convert and handtyping them is very time consuming. Thank you!


2013-01-07 13:16:04

Danny

This formula worked well for the first name in the list but I couldn't get it to work for the rest of the list. Don't know a lot about Excel, so probably not doing the right thing after putting the formula in B1.


2012-12-26 05:42:11

DHAKSHINAMOORTHY.P

Thank you. i got cleared my doubt


2012-12-11 11:26:03

daniel

I want a single cell formula that converts JOhn Doe to Doe, John


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