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: Reversing Names In Place.

Reversing Names In Place

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2017)

1

George often has to work with data provided by other people. In working with this data he may need to convert a name, say Joe Bloggs, so that the last name is first, as in Bloggs, Joe. George understands that he can use a formula to do the name reversal, but he needs to do it in the same cell in which the name resides. He wonders if there is a built-in command that will perform this task.

No, there isn't a built-in command to do it. You can, however, create a macro that will do the switching for you. This macro could then be assigned to a shortcut key or placed on a toolbar so it can be easily accessed. Here's a simple macro that will do the switching:

Sub ReverseNames()
    Dim x As Integer
    Dim sCell As String
    Dim sLast As String
    Dim sFirst As String
    Dim rCell As Range

    For Each rCell In Selection
        sCell = rCell.Value
        x = InStr(sCell, " ")
        If x > 0 Then
            sFirst = Left(sCell, x - 1)
            sLast = Mid(sCell, x + 1)
            rCell.Value = sLast & ", " & sFirst
        End If
    Next
    Set rCell = Nothing
End Sub

To use the macro, just select the range of cells you want to affect and then run it. The macro searches for a space within the cell and considers everything in front of the space to be the first name and everything after the space to be the last name. These two elements are reversed, a comma put between them, and stuffed back into the cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3812) 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: Reversing Names In Place.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Flashing Cells

Want to draw attention to some information in a particular cell? Make the cell flash, on and off. Here's how you can ...

Discover More

Preventing a Frame when Converting a Table to Text

Tables, in Word, can either be inline with the rest of your text or the text can wrap around the table. If you have wrapping ...

Discover More

Using Mail Merge to Complete Documents

Mail merge can be used to put together groups of documents that rely on common information. This tip shows how mail merge ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Displaying Messages When Automatic Data Changes

It is possible to develop macros that update the information in your worksheets automatically. In such instances, you may ...

Discover More

Understanding the If ... End If Structure

One of the most basic of programming structures is the conditional structure: If ... End If. This tip explains how this ...

Discover More

Working while a Macro is Running

If you have a macro that takes a long time to process a workbook, you might want to continue working in Excel while the macro ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 0?

2012-05-14 11:20:43

speedyjim

How would the macro have to change if you have names in the format, firstname MI lastname (and you want to change it to lastname,firstname MI)?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.