Excel TEXTBEFORE function


The Excel TEXTBEFORE function extracts text occurring before a specified delimiter within a string. It’s useful for parsing strings and extracting specific segments based on a delimiter. This function is the opposite of the TEXTAFTER function.
					=TEXTBEFORE(text, delimiter, [instance_num], [match_mode], [match_end], [if_not_found])
  • text: The text string to search within
  • delimiter: The text marking the point before which to extract
  • instance_num: [Optional] The instance of the delimiter to use. Default is 1. Negative values start from the end
  • match_mode: [Optional] 0 for case-sensitive, 1 for case-insensitive. Default is case-sensitive
  • match_end: [Optional] 0 to not match the end of text, 1 to treat end as a delimiter
  • if_not_found: [Optional] Value returned if no match is found. Default is #N/A
Return value
The portion of the text that occurs before the specified delimiter.

How to use

TEXTBEFORE is versatile for extracting segments from text strings, especially when dealing with structured text formats or delimiters. It’s often used in data parsing, cleaning, and preparation.


Extracting Text Before a Specific Word: To get the text before a word in a string:
					=TEXTBEFORE(A1, "word")
If A1 is “Find the word here”, it returns “Find the “.
TEXTBEFORE with Instance Number
Extracting Before the Second Occurrence: Using TEXTBEFORE to target the second instance of a delimiter:
					=TEXTBEFORE(B2, ",", 2)
Extracts text before the second comma in B2.
TEXTBEFORE in Data Parsing
Parsing Email Usernames: Extracting the username from an email address:
					=TEXTBEFORE(C2, "@")
If C2 is “name@example.com”, it returns “name”.
TEXTBEFORE with Case Insensitivity
Case-Insensitive Text Extraction: Ignoring case when extracting text:
					=TEXTBEFORE(D2, "Sample", , 1)
Extracts text before “sample”, “Sample”, or any case variation in D2.
TEXTBEFORE with End Matching
Considering End of Text as Delimiter: Treating the end of the text as a delimiter:
					=TEXTBEFORE(E2, "end", , , 1)
Extracts text before “end” in E2, including if “end” is at the text’s end.
TEXTBEFORE with Custom 'Not Found' Response
Custom Response for No Match: Specifying a custom return value when no match is found:
					=TEXTBEFORE(F2, "missing", , , , "Not found")
Returns “Not found” if “missing” is not in F2.

Additional Notes

  • Ideal for extracting specific portions from strings where the delimiter’s position is known or consistent.
  • Can be combined with other text functions for complex string manipulations.
  • Useful in scenarios like data import, where specific information needs to be isolated from a larger text string.

Related Functions

Excel TEXTJOIN function

The Excel TEXTJOIN function combines text from multiple ranges, including a delimiter, perfect for creating comprehensive strings.

Excel TEXTSPLIT function

The Excel TEXTSPLIT function divides text into multiple cells based on delimiters, simplifying data organization and analysis.

Excel TEXTAFTER function

The Excel TEXTAFTER function extracts text after a specified delimiter, enhancing data parsing and extraction tasks.

Excel CONCAT function

The Excel CONCAT function merges multiple text strings into one, perfect for data concatenation without using the ampersand (&).

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