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How to convert full state names to abbreviations in Excel?

doc convert state to abbre 1

If you have a column of full state names need to be converted to their corresponding abbreviations in the next to column as following screenshot shown, how could you solve this problem quickly and easily in Excel?

Convert full state names to abbreviations with Vlookup function

Convert full state names to abbreviations with Kutools for Excel


Convert full state names to abbreviations:

Kutools for Excel's Look for a value in list utility can help you to vlookup and return the corresponding abbreviations based on the full state names.

doc convert state to abbre 11

Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!


arrow blue right bubble Convert full state names to abbreviations with Vlookup function


There is no direct way for you to finish this job in Excel, but, you can list all of the state names and their relative abbreviations firstly, and then apply the Vlookup function to get any of the abbreviations.

State Name Abbrev
Alabama AL
Alaska AK
Arizona AZ
Arkansas AR
California CA
Colorado CO
Connecticut CT
Delaware DE
Florida FL
Georgia GA
Hawaii HI
Idaho ID
Illinois IL
Indiana IN
Iowa IA
Kansas KS
Kentucky KY
Louisiana LA
Maine ME
Maryland MD
Massachusetts MA
Michigan MI
Minnesota MN
Mississippi MS
Missouri MO
Montana MT
Nebraska NE
Nevada NV
New Hampshire NH
New Jersey NJ
New Mexico NM
New York NY
North Carolina NC
North Dakota ND
Ohio OH
Oklahoma OK
Oregon OR
Pennsylvania PA
Rhode Island RI
South Carolina SC
South Dakota SD
Tennessee TN
Texas TX
Utah UT
Vermont VT
Virginia VA
Washington WA
West Virginia WV
Wisconsin WI
Wyoming WY

First, please copy and paste the left state names and their abbreviations to your worksheet where you want to use.

Supposing, I paste them in cell A1:B51, and my data range in E1:F22, see screenshot:

doc convert state to abbre 2

Then enter this formula: =VLOOKUP(E2,$A$2:$B$51,2,0) into cell F2, see screenshot:

doc convert state to abbre 3

Note: In the above formula, E2 is the state name which you want to return its relative abbreviation, A2:B51 is the data range you want to look for, the number 2 indicates the column number that your matched value is returned.

At last, drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to get the relative abbreviations, see screenshot:

doc convert state to abbre 4


Tips: If you usually use above state names and abbreviations, you can save them into the Auto Text pane of Kutools for Excel to reuse and insert them into anywhere of the workbook or worksheet anytime.   Click to Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !

doc convert state to abbre 5

 1

doc convert state to abbre 6


arrow blue right bubble Convert full state names to abbreviations with Kutools for Excel

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its Look for a value in list utility, you can also solve this job as soon as possible, please do as follows:

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. After copy and paste all the full state names and their corresponding abbreviation next to your data range, click a cell where you want to put the abbreviation result, cell F2, in this example.

2. Then click Kutools > Formulas > Look for a value in list, see screenshot:

doc convert state to abbre 7

3. In the Formula Helper dialog box:

(1.) Click doc convert state to abbre 9 button beside the Table_array to select the data range that you want to lookup from, and input the $ character to the cell reference to make the relative reference to absolute reference;

(2.) Click doc convert state to abbre 9 button beside the Look_value to select the looked up value you need;

(3.) Clickdoc convert state to abbre 9 button beside the Column to select the column will be returned the matching values.

doc convert state to abbre 8

4. And then click Ok button, you will get the first result, and then drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want the abbreviations, see screenshot:

doc convert state to abbre 10

Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


arrow blue right bubble Demo: Convert full state names to abbreviations with Kutools for Excel

Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Chuck Finley · 3 months ago
    Is it possible to do this conversion if there is a city listed beforehand? For example, (Richmond, Virginia) into (Richmond, VA) ?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jayanand Sagar · 3 years ago
    Thanks for the explanation, it was useful :)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Juno · 3 years ago
    How to convert full state names to abbreviations in Excel?