You can use the following formula in Excel to find the first column with a non-zero value in a particular row:

=INDEX(B$1:E$1,MATCH(TRUE,INDEX(B2:E2<>0,),0))

This particular formula finds the first value in the row **B2:E2** with a non-zero value and returns the corresponding column name from the row **B1:E1**.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: Find First Non-Zero Value in Row in Excel**

Suppose we have the following dataset in Excel that shows the number of fouls by a basketball team in each quarter of eight different games:

Suppose we would like to find the first quarter in which a foul occurred in each game.

In other words, we would like to find the first non-zero value in each row and return the corresponding column name.

We can type the following formula into cell **F2** to do so:

=INDEX(B$1:E$1,MATCH(TRUE,INDEX(B2:E2<>0,),0))

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

Column F now displays the first quarter with a non-zero value in each row.

For example, in Game 1 the first foul occurred in Quarter 3 so cell **F2** returns a value of Quarter 3:

**Note**: If every value in a given row is zero then this formula will simply return **#N/A** since no non-zero value could be found.

**Additional Resources**

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

Excel: How to Remove Specific Text from Cells

Excel: A Formula for MID From Right

Excel: How to Use MID Function for Variable Length Strings