Position of 2nd 3rd etc instance of character

An excel formula to position of 2nd 3rd etc instance of character

Related Functions

 Position of 2nd 3rd etc instance of character

To get the position of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. instance of a specific character inside a text string, you can use the FIND and SUBSTITUTE functions.

In the example shown, the formula in E4 is:


How this formula works

At the core, this formula uses the fact that the SUBSTITUTE function understands "instance", supplied as an optional forth argument called "instance_num". This means you can use the SUBSTITUTE function to replace a specific instance of a character in a text string.  So:


replaces only the 2nd instance (2 comes from D4) of "x" in text in B4, with "~" character. The result looks like this:


Next, FIND locates the "~" inside this string and returns the position, which is 7 in this case.

Note: we use "~" in this case only because it rarely occurs in other text. You can use any character that you know won't appear in the text.

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