Get last word from a text string

Learn how to find and get the last word from a text string using the MID, FIND, CHAR, LEN, and SUBSTITUTE functions.

Working with text strings in Excel is sometimes an easy task, sometimes not. In this article, we will explain how to use the best practices. As usual, first, we will perform the task using Excel’s built-in string manipulation functions. Furthermore, we’ll introduce the new user-defined function, GetLastWord too!

How to extract the last word from a text string

Steps to extract the last word from a text:

  1. Replace the spaces with null strings: SUBSTITUTE
  2. Insert a delimiter character for the last space CHAR
  3. Find the delimiter position: FIND
  4. Strip the first character from the last word: LEN
  5. Extract the last word between delimiters: MID

In the example, cell B3 contains the text string we want to manipulate. Use the following formula to find the last word:



Evaluate the formula from the inside out.

First, we’ll replace the space characters with empty strings:


After that, insert a delimiter CHAR(1) for the last space:


FIND the location of the delimiter in the selected string:


Because we are using a delimiter, we have to strip the first character of the last word:


Finally, expand the formula with the MID function to extract the last word between the delimiter’s location:


Get the last word using TRIM and RIGHT functions

In the next example, we have the same goal. If you want to extract the last word from a text string, you can use another alternative way to perform the calculation. Combine REPT, SUBSTITUTE, RIGHT, and TRIM. This method uses tricks and makes the formula mentioned above easier.

Let us analyze the following formula:

=TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A3," ",REPT(" ",50)),50))
using TRIM and RIGHT functions

The TRIM function will remove any number of leading spaces. We are using 50 as an argument, but in some cases (for example, you have long words), you need to increase this number.

The SUBSTITUTE function finds all spaces in the text string and replaces each space with N spaces. N is an integer type variable, in this case, 50.

=SUBSTITUTE(A3," ",REPT(" ",50))

The RIGHT function extracts N characters (50) from the right.

=RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A3," ",REPT(" ",50)),50)

We have only one step left. The TRIM function removes extra spaces between words, leading, or trailing spaces. Finally, the formula returns the last word.

=TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A3," ",REPT(" ",50)),50))

Extract the last word using UDF and VBA

Last but not least: Speed matters. Of course, we have a user-defined function to boost your productivity. The syntax is easy to understand for everyone.


The function uses a single argument, “cell reference“.

find and get the last word from a text string

We strongly recommend using a user-defined function library like DataFX. The add-in dramatically improves your productivity. Also, try DataXL free excel add-in for data cleansing projects. No coding skills are necessary; you only need to follow the add-in installation guide.

Istvan Vozar

Istvan is the co-founder of Visual Analytics Ltd. He writes blog posts and helps people to reach the top in Excel.