Quick, clean, and to the point

Match first occurrence does not contain

Excel formula: Match first occurrence does not contain
Generic formula 

To get the position of the first match that does not contain a specific value, you can use an array formula based on the MATCH, SEARCH, and ISNUMBER functions. In the example shown, the formula in E5 is:


where "data" is the named range B5"B12.

Note: this is an array formula and must be entered with control + shift + enter.

How this formula works

This formula depends on a TRUE or FALSE result from a logical test, where FALSE represents the value you are looking for. In the example, the logical test is data="red", entered as the lookup_array argument in the MATCH function:


Once the test is run, it returns an array or TRUE and FALSE values:


With the lookup_value set to FALSE, and match_type set to zero to force and exact match, the MATCH function returns 4, the position of the first FALSE in the array.

Get associated value

To retrieve the associated value from the Quantity column, where "quantity" is the named range C5:C12, you can use INDEX and MATCH together:


Literal contains

If you need to match the first value that literally "does not contain", you can use a variant of the formula. For example to match the first value in data that does not contain an "r", you can use:


For more details about ISNUMBER + SEARCH, see this page.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and create dynamic ranges. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot, trace errors, and fix problems. Instant access. See details here.