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How to Remove First Character from String in Excel (6 Easy Ways)

Sometimes we need to remove the first character from the string to make the dataset shorter as well as pleasing. Today in this article, we are going to learn how to remove the first character from a string in Excel. Let’s see how you guys absorb it.


Download Practice Workbook

You may download the following Excel workbook for better understanding and practice it by yourself.


6 Easy Ways to Remove the First Character from String in Excel

Method 1: Combining RIGHT & LEN Functions to Remove First Character in Excel

By combining the RIGHT & LEN functions, we can easily remove the first character from a string. Excel Right function extracts the last characters of a string and returns the value. Where the LEN function counts the total number of characters of a string. Assuming we have a dataset of Microsoft products. We are going to remove the first character of each product.

Sample Data Set for Combining RIGHT & LEN Functions to Remove First Character in Excel

Steps:

  • First, select cell C5.
  • Second, type the formula:
=RIGHT(B5,LEN(B5)-1)

Combining RIGHT & LEN Functions to Remove First Character in Excel

  • Finally, hit Enter and use the Fill Handle tool to see the result.

Showing Results for Combining RIGHT & LEN Functions

Read more: How to Remove Characters from Left in Excel


Method 2:  Inserting REPLACE Function to Remove First Character from String in Excel

Excel REPLACE function alternates the character or string of characters with another string. To remove the first character from the string, we can use this function. Imagine we have a dataset of Microsoft products.

Sample Data Set for Inserting REPLACE Function to Remove First Character from String in Excel

Steps:

  • First, select cell C5.
  • Next type the formula:
=REPLACE(B5,1,1,"")

Inserting REPLACE Function to Remove First Character from String in Excel

In this formula, we’ve selected the text string in Cell B5. Then we’ve indicated the starting position of the text string and the number of characters we want to replace. At last, the new text will replace the old one.

  • Finally, press Enter and drag down the Fill Handle to autofill the entire column. We can see the final result in the following screenshot.

Read more: Remove Last Character from String Excel

Showing Results for Inserting REPLACE Function to Remove First Character from String in Excel


Method 3: Nesting MID & LEN Functions for Removing First Character in Excel

Here we have a dataset of Microsoft products. We are going to remove the first character of each of them by the combination of MID & LEN functions. The LEN function counts the total number of characters of a text string. Besides MID function pulls out the specified number of characters from the middle of a text string and returns the value.

Sample Date Set for Nesting MID & LEN Functions for Removing First Character in Excel

Steps:

  • Firstly, select cell C5.
  • After that, type the formula:
=MID(B5,2,LEN(B5)-1)

Nesting MID & LEN Functions for Removing First Character in Excel

  • Press Enter.
  • Finally, we can see all the outputs by using the Fill handle.

Showing Results for Nesting MID & LEN Functions for Removing First Character in Excel

Read more: Excel Remove Characters From Right


Method 4: Applying Text to Columns Option to Remove First Character

We can use the Text to Columns option from the Data tab in Excel to remove the first character from the text string. It can split one cell into multiple columns. Now we are going to use this option for the below dataset and remove the first character.

Steps:

  • Firstly, select all the required cells.
  • Secondly, go to the Data tab > Text to Columns.

Applying Text to Columns Option to Remove First Character from Data Tab

  • Now, a Wizard Step 1 window pops up.
  • Then select Fixed width and click Next.
    Applying Text to Columns Option
  • After that, in Wizard Step 2 window, go to the Data preview
  • Besides, to insert a vertical line, click between the first & second characters.
  • Now select Next.

Applying Text to Columns Option

  • In Wizard Step 3 window, select ‘Do not import column (skip)’.
  • Now select the place where we want to see the final result in the Destination
  • In the Data preview, make sure the first column is selected in Black.
  • Next, select Finish.

Applying Text to Columns Option to Remove First Character from the convert text to columns wizard

  • Once we click on it, we can see the result.

Showing Results for Applying Text to Columns Option to Remove First Character in Excel

Read more: How to Remove Characters in Excel


Method 5: Employing Flash Fill Feature for Removing First Character

Flash Fill is used at entering value with a pattern. This feature is not widely used to serve a particular purpose but this is a handy one when you want to remove a character.

Steps:

  • Here we have a Microsoft products dataset.
  • Firstly, choose cell C5.
  • Secondly, type the result we want to see and hit Enter.
  • Now in the next Cell C6, when we start to type, it will guess the pattern and show us the preview of the result.

Employing Flash Fill Feature for Removing First Character

  • Then, hit Enter and we will see the result.

Showing Results for Employing Flash Fill Feature

Read more: How to Remove Non-numeric Characters from Cells in Excel


Method 6: Using VBA Code to Remove First Character in Excel

Assuming we have a dataset of Microsoft products in the Text String column. We have to add a helper column beside the first one where the number of characters to be removed will be present for each corresponding text string. Using VBA code, we can easily remove the first character from the string.

Sample Data Set for Using VBA Code

Steps:

  • Firstly, select the worksheet from the Sheet tab and click on View Code.

Using VBA Code from View Code option

  • Then, a VBA Module window shows up.
  • After that, type the below VBA code.
Option Explicit
Sub RemoveFirstCharacter()
'declare a variable
Dim Sheet As Worksheet
Set Sheet = Worksheets("VBA")
'apply the formula to remove the first character from a string
Sheet.Range("D5") = Right(Sheet.Range("B5"), Len(Sheet.Range("B5")) - Sheet.Range("C5"))
End Sub
  • After that, enter the Run option or press F5.

Using VBA Code to Remove the First Character in Excel

  • So, we can see the result on the required cell.
  • Finally, use Flash Fill to see the final result.

Showing Results for Using VBA Code to Remove the First Character in Excel


Conclusion

These are the easy ways to remove the first character from the string in Excel. There is a practice workbook added. Go ahead and give it a try. Feel free to ask anything or suggest any new methods.


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Nuraida Kashmin

Nuraida Kashmin

Hi Everyone! I am Nuraida. Cordially welcome you to my profile. I am a Team Leader of Excel and VBA Content Developer in ExcelDemy. Here I will also post articles related to Microsoft Excel. With a strong educational background in Mechanical Engineering through experimental learning from Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology. Skilled in Microsoft Word, Creative Writing, Microsoft Excel, Project Management, Support to Organize Different Events, Reporting, Monitoring & Documentation, Online Advocacy and Event Management Related to SAP and Youth Leaders.

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