## Get first text value in a column

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.

#### 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))

#### 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)

#### 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.

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