You can use the following formulas in Excel to find the first letter in a string:

**Formula 1: Return Position of First Letter**

=MATCH(TRUE,ISERROR(VALUE(MID(A2,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))),0)

This formula returns the position of the first letter in a string.

For example, if the string is **A0095B** then this formula will return **1** since this is the position in the string where the first letter occurs.

**Formula 2: Return Value of First Letter**

=MID(A2,MATCH(TRUE,ISERROR(VALUE(MID(A2,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))),0),1)

This formula returns the value of the first letter in a string.

For example, if the string is **A0095B** then this formula will return **A** since this is the value of the first letter that occurs in the string.

The following example shows how to use each formula in practice with the following list of employee ID strings in Excel:

**Example 1: Return Position of First Letter**

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to return the position of the first letter in each Employee ID text string:

=MATCH(TRUE,ISERROR(VALUE(MID(A2,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))),0)

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B returns the position of the first letter in each corresponding string in column A.

For example:

- The first letter in
**A0095B**occurs in position**1**of the string. - The first letter in
**43387BR**occurs in position**6**of the string. - The first letter in
**BCDD7D**occurs in position**1**of the string.

And so on.

**Example 2: Return Value of First Letter**

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to return the value of the first letter in each Employee ID text string:

=MID(A2,MATCH(TRUE,ISERROR(VALUE(MID(A2,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))),0),1)

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B returns the value of the first letter in each corresponding string in column A.

For example:

- The value of the first letter in
**A0095B**is**A**. - The value of the first letter in
**43387BR**is**B**. - The value of the first letter in
**BCDD7D**is**B**.

And so on.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: How to Find First Number in Text String

Excel: How to Split Word into Individual Letters

Excel: How to Count Frequency of Text