Contact List - Extract First / Last Name?

Manu ✭✭✭✭✭✭

Is it possible to target the first or last name of a contact inside an alert email?

So e.g. if I have a contact called "John Doe" in a [Contact] column, and I send an alert with Dear {{Contact}} I will get the full name. Is there a way to only get the first name?

Best Answer



  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You would need to pull this data into a separate column and then use your placeholder on that.

  • Manu
    Manu ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You would need to pull this data into a separate column and then use your placeholder on that.

    via string manipulation of the [Contact] column? e.g. search for the separating space between first and last name and the LEFT X?

  • Lauren Darvesh
    Lauren Darvesh ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Paul Newcome , Wow, your formula worked perfectly, I've been trying to do exactly the same thing as @Manu for weeks now. So thank you so much!

    I do often have contact columns where there are 2 contact names and I ineed to personalise to both the first name (together though obviously, so it would be 'Dear John, Jane' for example, which is fine. Can I put a formula to pull both first names from the single helper column.

    How can I do this please? Can I put a +FIND somewhere in the formula? I am really terrible with formulas. Despit having watched numerous training videos and YouTube etc. I get totally confused with brackets and commas etc. And the whole structure of formulas is bewildering to be honest.

    I will really appreciate your help.

    Many thanks



  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Lauren Darvesh Can you provide a screenshot with some "dummy data" so I can see exactly what you are working with and what you are trying to do?

  • LLL
    edited 06/18/20

    Hello, i would need something simmilar with the first thread, but ... I need to have the full name ( when you use the email address from the contact list, the autocompletion function will give you the whole name )

    Exeample :

    I have on a multi contactilist cell : John Doe and Jane Doe

    I would like to have the formula get me the first name ( complete ) : John Doe

    I tried to lookup after the email address but not sure if this is the right approach. Any hints will help me get it right

    As a remark ... there are some compose name like : John-First Doe or ... Im trying to llok for the secound " " (space) assuming that between the first person`s full name and the secound one`s there is a " " ( space ) , or a coma ( , ) separator.

    This is what i have .. addapted from excel ... is working but it give-s me a coma after the first name extracted

    =SUBSTITUTE(IF(ISERROR(FIND(",", [email protected], FIND(",", [email protected], 1))), [email protected], LEFT([email protected], FIND(" ", [email protected], FIND(" ", [email protected], 1) + 1))), ",", " ")

    Result obtained: John Doe

    i subtituted comma with space... not sure if this is ok to do, and modified a little to have in case of single contact ...the return of that single contact.

    What do you think this will work ?

    *Accountable is the row that has the multiple contact list values.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @LLL Try this one...

    =LEFT([email protected], FIND(" ", [email protected], FIND(" ", [email protected]) + 1) - 2)

  • Peggy Parchert
    Peggy Parchert ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paul Newcome -

    I'm trying to do the same thing - extract just the First name only (and each First name is different lengths). Is there some way to do this using a formula?

    Below is a screenshot of a pared down sheet that I would use. I need to figure out some way to populate the First name column (without having to go thru line by line and manually do it

    Thank you for any assistance.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Peggy P Assuming "Goofy" is the first name, you would want something like this...

    =IFERROR(LEFT([email protected], FIND(" ", [email protected]) - 1), [email protected])

  • Peggy Parchert
    Peggy Parchert ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paul Newcome - THANK YOU!!! You are brilliant!

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Peggy P P.S. Goofy's full name is listed as

    George G. "Goofy" Goof


  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Peggy P Happy to help. 👍️

  • @Paul Newcome I'm trying to pull the users first name from from the User Full Name column with this format: Smith, John. All of the user names have different lengths so this formula doesn't work, results vary.

    using this formula based on the formula in the string above

    =IFERROR(RIGHT([User Full Name]@row, FIND(" ", [User Full Name]@row) - 1), [User Full Name]@row)

    Thank you in advance for your help

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Melvin Collins Pulling the first name would look more like this...

    =IFERROR(RIGHT([User Full Name]@row, LEN([User Full Name]@row) - FIND(" ", [User Full Name]@row)), [User Full Name]@row)

  • Worked perfectly!!!!! Thank you! I'm unfamiliar with the LEN function and I appreciate the information!!!