How to Switch First and Last Name in Excel

Data manipulation is one of the most powerful abilities of Excel. Flash Fill is a tool in Excel that enables you to manipulate data in a cell according to your needs.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to switch first and last names in Excel with the help of Flash Fill.

Switch First and Last Name

Now we will walk through the steps of switching the first and last names in Excel, and we will use Flash Fill for this purpose.

Flash Fill works as follows: you define a new pattern, and Flash Fill imitates this pattern for all other cells. In this case, the pattern that we will create is going to be “LastName, FirstName”.

Step 1: Go to a cell that contains a full name. In the cell right next to it, write the pattern you want in a reverse fashion: “LastName, FirstName”.

Write the new pattern with swapped full name

Be careful that the first and last names are written correctly, just like the original cell.

Step 2: Press Enter on your keyboard to go to the cell below, or click on the cell below the new pattern.

Go to the cell below

Step 3: In the Home tab, click on the Fill icon in the Editing part in the Excel ribbon, and then click on Flash Fill.

Click on Fill and then Flash Fill

This will automatically fill out all cells next to a full name, and your names will successfully be switched:

Full names swapped

Using this method, you can use any pattern that includes a first name and a last name. For example, you can also abbreviate a first name:

First name abbreviated with Flash Fill

As long as you provide a new name format, Flash Fill will automatically learn the pattern and apply it to other cells. It’s like magic, right?

This extremely easy method can enable you to perform all kinds of text manipulation. Learning to use Flash Fill is an excellent skill. Nice job!

You may want to check how to separate or combine first and last names in Excel and then sort by last name in Excel.

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