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# How to Get the First Text Value with HLOOKUP

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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