Extract Nth Word From A String

less than 1 minute read

If you need to get the nth word in a text string (i.e. a sentence, phrase, or paragraph) you can so with a clever (and intimidating) formula that combines 5 Excel functions: TRIM, MID, SUBSTITUTE, REPT, and LEN.

Download the example workbook here: Extract Nth Word from a String.xlsx

' syntax
=TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",REPT(" ",LEN(A1))), (Nth_Word_Number-1)*LEN(A1)+1, LEN(A1)))

' sentence in A2, Nth number is in B2
=TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",LEN(A2))), (B2-1)*LEN(A2)+1, LEN(A2)))

With the table set up below, copy the above formula into C2 and drag down to see the results.

~ A B C
1 Short Quote Nth Word Result
2 Procrastination is the greatest labor saving invention of all time. 1 Procrastination
3 Black Holes are where God divided by zero. 6 divided
4 A day without sunshine is like, night. 4 sunshine
5 Fish and visitors stink after 3 days. 3 visitors
6 I’m in shape … round’s a shape, isn’t it? 5 round’s
7 He who laughs last didn’t get it. 3 laughs