Contact Column shows as email addresses, but I need to extract the First & Last Names


Okay so the title is a bit confusing, but here's the issue:

I have a sheet where I need to collect emails so I can send update requests, alerts, all that jazz. Through a form, people input their email addresses into Column 1.

Then, using the function =[Column1]@row] in a Contact Column named Column 2, all of the data in Column 2 shows up as Contact values, and it only displays their emails. I hover over the contact bubble, and it shows me their name, work number, etc., but on the sheet, only their email is displayed. This is done for automation purposes. This is fine. I don't mind this, and I'd rather not change it.

The problem is that when I generate documents, and I try to use the contact data from Column 2, it populates the fields in the documents as emails. I don't want emails. I want their first and last names.

Ideally, I'm willing to implement a third (or however many), supporting column that converts the Contact data from Column 2 into regular text data displaying just the individual's First and Last Name.

Note: the emails are formatted as "" and I cannot extract the names from the email address itself.



  • Frank S.
    Frank S. ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Greetings @toribear,

    There is not a clean way to extract First and last name from the e-mail field. In you example the e-mail provided would only provide the first initial and last name, which does not address your need for full names. You are fortunate that the e-mail is ALWAYS in the same format so we could use formulas to extract the data but it would still be missing the first name. If the e-mail format ever change the extract may not work.

    What I have done to work around this and still be able to use first and last names in my automated responses is add to my form a name and e-mail entry field. This allows me to send automated e-mails using specific names without the worry of e-mail format changes.

    I know that may not be the exact answer you are looking for but I hope it helps.

    Frank Smith, PMP

    Assistant Director | IT Special Projects Mgr.

    Oregon Parks & Recreation Department

    If my response helps, please mark it as an accepted answer. 😎

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