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How to find nth occurrence (position) of a character in text string in Excel?

For example, there is a long sentence in Cell A1, see the following screenshot. And now you need to find the 3rd occurrence or position of Character "c" from the text string in Cell A1. Of course, you can count the characters one by one, and get the exact position result. However, here we are going to introduce some easy tips to find the nth occurrence or position of specific character from text string in a cell.

doc-find-nth-position-of-text-string1

Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with Find formula

Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with VBA

Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with Kutools for Excel good idea3


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arrow blue right bubble Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with Find formula

Hint


There are two Find formulas can help you find the nth occurrence or position of specific character from text string in a cells quickly.

The following formula will show you how to find the 3rd occurrence of "c" in Cell A1.

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Find Formula 1

In a blank cell, enter the formula =FIND("c",A1,FIND("c",A1)+2).

doc-find-nth-position-of-text-string2

And then press the Enter key. The position of the third letter “c” has been displayed.

Note: You can change the 2 in the formula based on your needs. For example, if you want to find the fourth position of "c", you can change the 2 to 3. And if you want to find the first position of "c", you shuold change 2 to 0.

Find formula 2

In a blank cell, enter the formula =FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE(A1,"c",CHAR(1),3)), and press Enter key.

Note: The "3" in the formula means the third "c", you can change it based on your needs.


arrow blue right bubble Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with VBA

Actually, you can apply the VB macro to find nth occurrence or position of a specific character in one cell easily.

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Step 1: Hold down the ALT + F11 keys, and it opens the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

Step 2: Click Insert > Module, and paste the following macro in the Module Window.

Function FindN(sFindWhat As String, _
sInputString As String, N As Integer) As Integer
Dim J As Integer
Application.Volatile
FindN = 0
For J = 1 To N
FindN = InStr(FindN + 1, sInputString, sFindWhat)
If FindN = 0 Then Exit For
Next
End Function

Step 3: Now if you want find the exact occurrence of position of third "c" in Cell A1, please enter the formula of =FindN("c",A1,3), and press the Enter key. Then it will return the exact position in the specific cell at once.


arrow blue right bubble Find nth occurrence (position) of a character in a Cell with Kutools for Excel

If you like neither of formula and VBA, you can try a handy tool – Kutools for Excel, with its Formula groups, you can find a utility – Find nth occurrence of a character to quickly return the nth position of a character in a cell.

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After free installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:

1. Select a cell you want to return the result and click Kutools > Formulas > Find nth occurrence of a character. See screenshot:

doc find position of text string 3

2. Then in the popping Formula Helper dialog, do as below:

doc find position of text string 4  1) Select the cell you want to find out a specific character from to the String textbox;



2) Type the character you want to find around with double quotations “” into Character textbox;



3) Type the nth occurrence of character into Nth occurrence textbox.

3. Click Ok. And you get the position of nth occurrence of a character in a string.

doc find position of text string 5


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