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: Splitting Cells by Case.

Splitting Cells by Case

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 31, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Manik has a worksheet that, in column A, has text values in the format "mikeDAVIS", where the person's first name is in lowercase and the last name is in uppercase. He would like to split the names to two separate columns, according to the case of the text.

This can be accomplished using either a formula for a macro. Regardless of which approach you use, the key is to figure out where the text switches from lower- to uppercase. This can only be done by examining each character in the string. So, if you want to use a formulaic approach, then you'll need to use an array formula. The following array formula returns the last name of whatever is in cell A1:

=MID(A1,MATCH(1,(CODE(MID(A1,ROW($1:$255),1))>=65)
*(CODE(MID(A1,ROW($2:$255),1))<90),)+1,255)

Remember, since this is an array formula, you should enter it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter. It returns everything in the cell starting with the first uppercase letter it finds. Thus, in "mikeDAVIS" it would return "DAVIS" and in "mikeDavis" it would return "Davis". Assuming that you use the array formula in cell B1, you could then determine the first name by using the following:

=SUBSTITUTE(A1,B1,"")

This is a regular formula, not an array formula.

There are many similar array formulas that can accomplish much the same task. For example, this array formula will return the first name (all the characters up to the first uppercase character) of whatever is in cell A1:

=LEFT(A1,MAX((CODE(MID(A$1,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&
LEN(A1))),1))>96)*ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A1)))))

You can then use the same regular formula (the one that uses the SUBSTITUTE function) to derive the last name.

If you want to use a macro approach to finding the names, all you need to do is come up with a formula that will return the location of the first capital letter in the text. The following code returns this "change point" in the text:

Function GetFirstUpper(MyCell As Range) As Integer
    Dim sCellValue As String
    Dim i As Integer

    Application.Volatile
    sCellValue = Trim(MyCell.Value)
    i = 1
    Do While (Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) > 90 _
      Or Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) < 65) _
      And i < Len(sCellValue) + 1
        i = i + 1
    Loop
    If i > Len(sCellValue) Then
        GetFirstUpper = 99
    Else
        GetFirstUpper = i
    End If
End Function

To use the function, let's assume that the name is in cell A1. You could find the first and last names using these formulas in your worksheet:

=LEFT(A1,GetFirstUpper(A1)-1)
=MID(A1,GetFirstUpper(A1),LEN(TRIM(A1))-GetFirstUpper(A1)+1)

If you prefer for your macro to return the actual names, you could use the following one to return everything before the first capital letter:

Function GetFirstName(MyCell As Range) As String
    Dim sCellValue As String
    Dim i As Integer

    Application.Volatile
    sCellValue = Trim(MyCell.Value)
    i = 1
    Do While (Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) > 90 _
      Or Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) < 65) _
      And i < Len(sCellValue) + 1
        i = i + 1
    Loop
    If i > Len(sCellValue) Then
        GetFirstName = sCellValue
    Else
        GetFirstName = Left(sCellValue, i - 1)
    End If
End Function

To use the macro, all you need to do is use the following in a worksheet cell. (This assumes that the text string to be evaluated is in cell A1.)

=GetFirstName(A1)

A minor variation on the macro will allow you to similarly fetch the last name, which is assumed to be everything starting with the first capital letter encountered.

Function GetLastName(MyCell As Range) As String
    Dim sCellValue As String
    Dim i As Integer

    Application.Volatile
    sCellValue = Trim(MyCell.Value)
    i = 1
    Do While (Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) > 90 _
      Or Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) < 65) _
      And i < Len(sCellValue) + 1
        i = i + 1
    Loop
    If i > Len(sCellValue) Then
        GetLastName = sCellValue
    Else
        GetLastName = Mid(sCellValue, i)
    End If
End Function

If you prefer, you could combine the macros into a single function that would, based upon what you specify, return either the first or last name:

Function GetName(MyCell As Range, sWanted As String) As String
    Dim sCellValue As String
    Dim i As Integer

    Application.Volatile
    sCellValue = Trim(MyCell.Value)
    i = 1
    Do While (Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) > 90 _
      Or Asc(Mid(sCellValue, i, 1)) < 65) _
      And i < Len(sCellValue) + 1
        i = i + 1
    Loop
    If i > Len(sCellValue) Then
        GetName = sCellValue
    Else
        If LCase(sWanted) = "first" Then
            GetName = Left(sCellValue, i - 1)
        Else
            GetName = Mid(sCellValue, i)
        End If
    End If
End Function

To use this combined function you simply need to specify which name you want:

=GetName(A1, "First")

The word "First" passed as a parameter in this manner returns the first name (everything before the first capital letter). Any other string passed as the second parameter (such as "Last" or "xxx" or "Rest" or even "") results in the last name being returned.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9089) 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: Splitting Cells by Case.

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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