Separating Data. How to Split First and Last Name in Google Sheets

Splitting First and Last Name in Google Sheets #

If you have a list of names in a Google Sheets spreadsheet that includes both the first and last name in a single cell, but you need to separate them into different cells, you can easily achieve this using some built-in functions in Google Sheets. In this article, we will explain how to manually split the first and last names and also provide a Google Apps script solution for automating the process.

Manually Splitting Names #

To manually split the first and last names in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cell containing the full name you want to split.
  3. Navigate to the toolbar and click on "Data".
  4. From the dropdown menu, choose "Split text to columns".
  5. In the "Separator Options" dialog box, select "Custom" and enter a space character (" ") as the delimiter.
  6. Click on the "Split" button.

Google Sheets will now split the full name into separate Columns, separating the first and last name.

Using Google Apps Script #

If you have a large dataset or repeatedly need to split names in Google Sheets, you can use a custom Google Apps Script to automate the process. Here's an example script:

function splitNames() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet(); // Get the active sheet
var range = sheet.getActiveRange(); // Get the currently selected range
var values = range.getValues(); // Get the values from the range

var splitValues = {
var fullName = row[0]; // Assuming full names are in the first column
var nameParts = fullName.split(" "); // Split full name into an array
return [nameParts[0], nameParts[1]]; // Assuming first name is in column A and last name is in column B

range.setValues(splitValues); // Set the split values back to the range

To use this script, follow these instructions:

  1. Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet.
  2. Click on "Extensions".
  3. Select "Apps Script".
  4. Remove any existing code and paste the above script.
  5. Save the script by clicking on the floppy disk icon.
  6. Close the Apps Script editor.
  7. Return to your spreadsheet.
  8. Select the cell range containing the names you want to split.
  9. Navigate to the toolbar and click on "Add-ons".
  10. Choose "Split Names" from the list of installed add-ons.
  11. Click on "Split Names" in the sidebar that appears.
  12. The script will automatically split the names, separating the first and last name into separate columns.

Use Case Examples #

  1. HR Management: If you have a spreadsheet with employee names in a single cell, splitting them into first and last name columns can help in managing employee records more effectively.
  2. Mailing Lists: When working with a mailing list, splitting full names into separate columns allows for more personalized and professional communication by addressing recipients by their first name.
  3. Data Analysis: Separating first and last names can enable you to perform analyses based on specific name components, such as analyzing last names by frequency or identifying common first names.

By following the steps provided or using the custom Google Apps Script mentioned above, you can easily split first and last names in Google Sheets, saving time and enhancing data organization and analysis capabilities.

Getting data from another sheet in Google Sheets can be done using various methods.
If you want to join tables in Google Sheets, there are different techniques you can use.
Performing a join query in Google Sheets allows you to combine data from multiple sources.
To link to another sheet in Google Sheets, you can use the HYPERLINK function.
Learn how to join two cells in Google Sheets to merge their contents together.