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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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Here are some problems that our users have asked and received explanations on

I am having an issue with hlookup - need to return multiple values but can only get the first value extracted - possibly use of index would work , but cannot figure it out.
Solved by X. A. in 30 mins
I am currently having issues with the hlookup and vlook up. I get an NA error. I am nesting the If, Vlookup, and Hlookup formulas.
Solved by O. D. in 22 mins
I text column of file extensions. i need to compare them with another column of known file extensions and get the corresponding text from the next column and write near the first column.
Solved by E. E. in 28 mins

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