The HLOOKUP function is excel is fundamental when it comes to looking up and retrieving a text value in a given range of columns. This article looks at how one can **get the first text value with HLOOKUP**.

*Figure 1: How to find first text value in a list in excel*

**General syntax of the formula**

**=HLOOKUP(“*”, range, 1, FALSE)**

**Understanding the formula**

We use the HLOOKUP function when we want to get the first text value of a text string.

**How the formula works**

- The HLOOKUP function is fundamental when it comes to extracting the first text value when given text strings in several columns.
- The HLOOKUP function, together with the asterisk wildcard character (*) can help us in this
- In the example above, we have the formula in cell E2 as
`=HLOOKUP("*",B2:D2,1,0)`

- Here, the wildcard value is the “*” which matches one or more text values.
- To get the first text for the other columns in the table array, we need to copy down the formula down column E.
- Given that we have only one row in the range, the row index number is 1.
- We set the range lookup value to zero, which implies FALSE, to force exact match.
- The function will find and return the first text value in each row that is found in column B through D.

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