## Locate first match that does not begin with

To find the position of the first match that does not begin with a specific string, the MATCH, LEFT and IF functions can do you a favor.

#### How to locate the first match that does not begin with “kutools”?

To find the** position of the first value that does not begin with “kutools”** in the list as shown above, you can use the LEFT and IF functions together to generate a TRUE and FALSE array, in which a TRUE represents a value that does not begin with “kutools”, and a FALSE otherwise. The MATCH function will then match the first TURE in the array to return the position of the first value that does not begin with “kutools”.

#### Generic syntax

**=MATCH(TRUE,IF(LEFT(range,n)<>n_string,TRUE),0)**

*√ Note: This is an array formula that requires you to enter with Ctrl + Shift + Enter.*

**range:**The list from which to return the first value that does not begin with**n_string**.**n:**The length of the given**n_string**.**n_string:**The string you specified to match the first value that does not begin with it. The length of it should be**n**. For example, to find the position of the first value that does not begin with “k”. You should set the**n**argument as**1**, and set**n_string**as “**k**”.**0:**The**match_type 0**forces MATCH to perform an exact match.

To find the **position of the first value that does not begin with “kutools”**, please copy or enter the formula below in the cell E5, and press **Ctrl** + **Shift** + **Enter** to get the result:

**=MATCH(TRUE,IF(LEFT(B5:B11,7)<>"kutools",TRUE),0)**

Or, use a cell reference to make the formula dynamic:

**=MATCH(TRUE,IF(LEFT(B5:B11,7)<>E4,TRUE),0)**

#### Explanation of the formula

**=MATCH(TRUE,IF(LEFT(B5:B11,7)<>E4,TRUE))**

**LEFT(B5:B11,7):**The LEFT function returns the leftmost**7**characters of the text strings in the range**B5:B11**. The results will be in an array like this:**{"Kutools";"Kutools";"Ku tool";"Office ";"Tools";"Kutool ";"ExtendO"}**.**IF(LEFT(B5:B11,7)<>E4,TRUE) = IF({"Kutools";"Kutools";"Ku tool";"Office ";"Tools";"Kutool ";"ExtendO"}<>E4,TRUE):**The IF function checks each value in the array whether they match**kutools**(value in**E4**) or not. If yes, a FALSE will be returned, otherwise a TRUE will be returned. So, the result will be like this:**{FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE}**.**MATCH(TRUE,IF(LEFT(B5:B11,7)<>E4,TRUE)) = MATCH(TRUE,{FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE}):**The**match_type 0**forces the MATCH function to perform an exact match. The function then returns the position of the first exact TRUE in the array. So, the function will return**3**since the first TRUE is at the**3**rd position.

#### Things to know

- The formula is not case-sensitive. To perform a case-sensitive match, see the tutorial here.
- You can change the not equal to operator (<>) to other operators as you need. For example, to locate the first match that begins with a string, you can change it to an equal sign (=).
- To retrieve the value at the position provide by MATCH, you can add the INDEX function.

#### Related functions

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

The LEFT function extracts the given number of characters from the left side of a supplied string. For instance, =LEFT("123-234",3) extracts the first 3 characters from the left side of "123-234" and returns "123".

The IF function is one of simplest and most useful functions in Excel workbook. It performs a simple logical test which depending on the comparison result, and it returns one value if a result is TRUE, or another value if result is FALSE.

#### Related Formulas

**Locate first partial match with wildcards**

To get the position of the first partial match that contains specific text string in a range in Excel, you can use a MATCH formula with wildcard characters - the asterisk (*) and question mark (?).

To find the position of the first error in a column or row, the MATCH and ISERROR functions can do you a favor.

**Locate first match that does not contain**

To find the position of the first match that does not contain a certain string, you can use a formula based on the MATCH, ISNUMBER and SEARCH functions.

**Locate maximum value in a range**

There are cases when you need to locate the position of the maximum value in a list, table or row in Excel. In this tutorial, we will discuss the approach to accomplish the task with the MAX and MATCH functions.

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