Skip to main content

Get first text value in a column

Author: Amanda Li Last Modified: 2021-11-30

To retrieve the first text value from a one-column range, you can use a formula based on INDEX and MATCH functions as well as a formula based on the VLOOKUP function.

get first text value in a column 1

Retrieve the first text value in a list with INDEX and MATCH
Retrieve the first text value in a list with VLOOKUP


Retrieve the first text value in a list with INDEX and MATCH

To get the first text value in the list as shown above, the INDEX and MATCH functions will help you in this way: The MATCH function that was set to perform an exact match locates the position of the first text value. INDEX will then retrieve the value at that position.

Generic syntax

=INDEX(range,MATCH("*",range,0))

√ Note: The lookup value "*" can match any number of characters. It does not match errors, numbers or Boolean values (TURE and FALSE).

  • range: The list (one-column range) where to return the first text value from.

To retrieve the first text value in the list with INDEX and MATCH, please copy or enter the formula below in the cell E4, and press Enter to get the result:

=INDEX(B4:B15,MATCH("*",B4:B15,0))

get first text value in a column 2

Explanation of the formula

=INDEX(B4:B15,MATCH("*",B4:B15,0))

  • MATCH("*",B4:B15,0): The match_type 0 forces the MATCH function to return the position of the first text value in the list B4:B15. So, the function will return 3.
  • INDEX(B4:B15,MATCH("*",B4:B15,0)) = INDEX(B4:B15,3): The INDEX function then returns the 3rd value from the range B4:B15, which is extendoffice.

Retrieve the first text value in a list with VLOOKUP

To retrieve the first text value in the list, you can just use the VLOOKUP function with the wildcard character - asterisk (*) to match the first text value.

Generic syntax

=VLOOKUP("*",range,1,FALSE)

√ Note: The lookup value "*" can match any number of characters. It does not match errors, numbers or Boolean values (TURE and FALSE).

  • range: The list (one-column range) where to return the first text value from.

To retrieve the first text value in the list with VLOOKUP, please copy or enter the formula below in the cell E4, and press Enter to get the result:

=VLOOKUP("*",B4:B15,1,FALSE)

get first text value in a column 3

Explanation of the formula

VLOOKUP("*",B4:B15,1,FALSE)

  • The range_lookup FALSE asks the function to perform an exact match.
  • The col_num 1 indicates that the value will be returned from the 1st column of the range B4:B15.
  • The lookup value "*" can match any number of characters. It does not match errors, numbers or Boolean values (TURE and FALSE).
  • VLOOKUP will now retrieve the first text value from the 1st column of the range B4:B15, which is extendoffice.

Related functions

Excel INDEX function

The Excel INDEX function returns the displayed value based on a given position from a range or an array.

Excel MATCH function

The Excel MATCH function searches for a specific value in a range of cells, and returns the relative position of the value.

Excel VLOOKUP function

The Excel VLOOKUP function searches for a value by matching on the first column of a table and returns the corresponding value from a certain column in the same row.


Related Formulas

Get first non-blank value in a column or row

To retrieve the first value (the first cell that is not blank, ignoring errors) from a one-column or one-row range, you can use a formula based on INDEX and MATCH functions. However, if you don’t want to ignore the errors from your range, you can add an ISBLANK function to the above formula.

Lookup the first partial match number

There are cases that you need to get the position of the first partial match that contains specific number in a range of numeric values in Excel. In this case, a MATCH and TEXT formula that incorporates asterisk (*), the wildcard that matches any number of characters, will do you a favor. And if you also need to know the exact value at that position, you can add the INDEX function to the formula.

Locate first partial match with wildcards

There are cases that you need to get the position of the first partial match that contains specific number in a range of numeric values in Excel. In this case, a MATCH and TEXT formula that incorporates asterisk (*), the wildcard that matches any number of characters, will do you a favor. And if you also need to know the exact value at that position, you can add the INDEX function to the formula.

Lookup closest match value with multiple criteria

In some cases, you may need to lookup the closest or approximate match value based on more than one criteria. With the combination of INDEX, MATCH and IF functions, you can quickly get it done in Excel.


The Best Office Productivity Tools

Kutools for Excel - Helps You To Stand Out From Crowd

🤖 Kutools AI Aide: Revolutionize data analysis based on: Intelligent Execution   |  Generate Code  |  Create Custom Formulas  |  Analyze Data and Generate Charts  |  Invoke Kutools Functions
Popular Features: Find, Highlight or Identify Duplicates  |  Delete Blank Rows  |  Combine Columns or Cells without Losing Data  |  Round without Formula ...
Super VLookup: Multiple Criteria  |  Multiple Value  |  Across Multi-Sheets  |  Fuzzy Lookup...
Adv. Drop-down List: Easy Drop Down List  |  Dependent Drop Down List  |  Multi-select Drop Down List...
Column Manager: Add a Specific Number of Columns  |  Move Columns  |  Toggle Visibility Status of Hidden Columns  Compare Columns to Select Same & Different Cells ...
Featured Features: Grid Focus  |  Design View  |  Big Formula Bar  |  Workbook & Sheet Manager | Resource Library (Auto Text)  |  Date Picker  |  Combine Worksheets  |  Encrypt/Decrypt Cells  |  Send Emails by List  |  Super Filter  |  Special Filter (filter bold/italic/strikethrough...) ...
Top 15 Toolsets12 Text Tools (Add Text, Remove Characters ...)  |  50+ Chart Types (Gantt Chart ...)  |  40+ Practical Formulas (Calculate age based on birthday ...)  |  19 Insertion Tools (Insert QR Code, Insert Picture from Path ...)  |  12 Conversion Tools (Numbers to Words, Currency Conversion ...)  |  7 Merge & Split Tools (Advanced Combine Rows, Split Excel Cells ...)  |  ... and more

Kutools for Excel Boasts Over 300 Features, Ensuring That What You Need is Just A Click Away...

Description


Office Tab - Enable Tabbed Reading and Editing in Microsoft Office (include Excel)

  • One second to switch between dozens of open documents!
  • Reduce hundreds of mouse clicks for you every day, say goodbye to mouse hand.
  • Increases your productivity by 50% when viewing and editing multiple documents.
  • Brings Efficient Tabs to Office (include Excel), Just Like Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Comments (0)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
There are no comments posted here yet
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
×
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations