sort by last name when first + last are in the same cell


Hi everyone

I have a list of musicians and artists and I am trying to sort by their last name unfortunately the list that I have has both their first and last name in the same cell in column A. Is there any easy way to solve this problem?

thanks for any help!



Selected Answer

There is no direct solution for your problem. Therefore create a helper column next to the one with the mixed names and enter the following formula (in row 2, and presuming that the names are in column A).

=IFERROR(RIGHT($A2,LEN($A2)-FIND("*",SUBSTITUTE($A2," ","*",LEN($A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE($A2," ",""))))),$A2)

The formula will extract the last word from column A. In most cases that will be the last name. Copy down, sort on the helper column, then delete it.



Thanks you soooo much!!! I don't understand the formula at all haha but it works like a charm :) I would upvote you if I could but don't have the permission for it apparently.
music_man (rep: 2) Aug 2, '17 at 11:33 am
I'm glad I could help!
The trick is in LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""). This returns the number of blank spaces in the name, call it "n". Then all the formula does is to find the location of the nth space and return the text to the right of that location. The process will return an error if there is no space, The IFERROR part ensures that the whole name is returned instead of an error.
Variatus (rep: 803) Aug 2, '17 at 8:37 pm
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