Remove First Character from String in Excel (6 Quick 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 about removing the first character. Let’s see how you guys absorb it.


Practice Workbook

Download the following workbook and exercise.


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

1. Combine 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 with 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.

Combine RIGHT & LEN Functions to Remove First Character in Excel

STEPS:

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

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

Read more: How to Remove Characters from Left in Excel


2. Insert 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.

Insert REPLACE Function to Remove First Character from String in Excel

STEPS:

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

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


3. MID & LEN Function Combination 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.

MID & LEN Function Combination for Removing First Character in Excel

STEPS:

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

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

Read more: Excel Remove Characters From Right


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 to the below dataset and remove the first character.

Applying ‘Text to Columns’ Option to Remove First Character

STEPS:

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

Applying ‘Text to Columns’ Option to Remove First Character

  • Now, a Wizard Step 1 window pops up.
  • Then select Fixed width and click the Next button.

Applying ‘Text to Columns’ Option to Remove First Character

  • In Wizard Step 2 window, go to the Data preview option.
  • To insert a vertical line, click between the first & second characters.
  • Now select Next.

  • 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 box.
  • In Data preview, make sure the first column is selected in Black.
  • Next select Finish.

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

Read more: How to Remove Characters in Excel


5. Removing First Character with Flash Fill Feature

Flash Fill is used at entering value with a pattern. Here we have a Microsoft products dataset.

Removing First Character with Flash Fill Feature

STEPS:

  • Select Cell C5.
  • 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.

  • Just hit Enter and we will see the result.

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


6. Using VBA Code to Remove the 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.

Using VBA Code to Remove the First Character in Excel

STEPS:

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

Using VBA Code to Remove the First Character in Excel

  • Then a VBA Module window shows up.
  • Now type the below 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.

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


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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