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How to convert full state names to abbreviations in Excel?

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 abbreviations to full state names with INDEX And MATCH functions

Convert full state names to abbreviations or vice versa with an awesome feature


Convert full state names to abbreviations with Vlookup function

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

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.

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 D1:E11, see screenshot:

Please enter or copy the following formula into cell E2:

=VLOOKUP(D2,$A$2:$B$51,2,0)

Then, drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, and all the corresponding abbreviations have been returned at once, see screenshot:

Note: In the above formula, D2 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.


Convert abbreviations to full state names with INDEX And MATCH functions

If you want to get the full state names based on the abbreviations,the INDEX And MATCH functions can do you a favor.

Please copy or enter the below formula into a blank cell where you want to get the result:

=INDEX($A$2:$A$51,MATCH(D2,$B$2:$B$51,0))

Then, drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, and all the corresponding abbreviations have been returned at once, see screenshot:

Note: In this formula, D2 is the criteria value that you want to return its relative information, A2:A51 is the list that contains the value you want to return, B2:B51 is the column that you are looking for.


Convert full state names to abbreviations or vice versa with an awesome feature

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its LOOKUP from Right to Left utility, you can return the abbreviations or full state names from the original state name and abbrev table quickly and easily.

Tips:To apply this LOOKUP from Right to Left feature, firstly, you should download the Kutools for Excel, and then apply the feature quickly and easily.

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as this:

1. Click Kutools > Super Lookup > LOOKUP from Right to Left, see screenshot:

2. In the LOOKUP from Right to Left dialog box, please do the following operations:

  • Select the lookup value cells and output cells from the Lookup values and Output Range section;
  • Then, specify the corresponding items from the Data range section.

Note: If you want to replace the #N/A error value with another text value, you just need to check Replace #N/A error value with a specified value option, and then type the text you need.

3. Then, click OK button, the matching records have been returned based on the lookup values, see screenshot:

Tips: To get the abbreviations based on the full state names, you just need to change the Key column and Return column in the LOOKUP from Right to Left dialog box as you need.

Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Chuck Finley · 9 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?