# Tags: CODE

Hi,

Assume a column of names as follows:

Name
Mohammed Zia-Ul Haque
Steven Thomas -
,-Rohit Sunil Ahir-Chowdhary.-
Anuj -----------
Sameer --
..,Mohit --
Rajeev Nair.
Monalisa . Das
Vijeta ...
--,.Anjana. M.U..,-

Please observe that there are special characters before the name, within the name and after the name.  The task is to remove special characters before and after the name.  The expected result is shown below:

Expected Result
Mohammed Zia-Ul Haque
Steven Thomas
Rohit Sunil Ahir-Chowdhary
Anuj
Sameer
Mohit
Rajeev Nair
Monalisa . Das
Vijeta
Anjana. M.U

The array formula (Ctrl+Shift+Enter) to make this work is

=MID(A2,MIN(SEARCH(CHAR(ROW(\$A\$65:\$A\$90)),A2&CHAR(ROW(\$A\$65:\$A\$90)))),LOOKUP(2,1/((CODE(MID(UPPER(A2),ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))>=65)*(CODE(MID(UPPER(A2),ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))),1))<=90)),ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A2))))-(MIN(SEARCH(CHAR(ROW(\$A\$65:\$A\$90)),A2&CHAR(ROW(\$A\$65:\$A\$90)))))+1)

I have solved a similar problem at this link as well but that requires the usage of an add-in.  This is so because the special characters and numbers need to be removed from within the string as well.  In other words, everything except letters need to be removed from the alphanumeric string (no matter where the numbers and special characters are - beginning, middle or at the end).

Given a large number of entries in the source of data validation, it may become cumbersome to scroll down the list to select a desired value.  It would be ideal to have the user type the first alphabet and be taken to all words which start with that alphabet.

The drop down list in cell C2 is the normal drop down list created through data validation.  This list does not have your desired functionality.  However, the drop down list in cell E2 has the desired functionality.  In cell E2, type the first letter of the any alphabet and then click the drop down button in the cell.  You will be taken to the first alphabet int he list.

You may refer to my solution in this workbook.