Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Extracting a State and a ZIP Code.

# Extracting a State and a ZIP Code

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 12, 2019)

Dan has a column of cells and each cell contains three items: city, state and ZIP Code. (All three are in a single cell, much like you see in an address line.) Some of the ZIP Codes are five digits and some are nine. Dan needs to pull both the two-character state and the five-digit ZIP Code into their own cells, to the right of the current data. Dan knows he can use the Text to Columns tool but feels that it involves a lot of work since he would need to deal with multiple-word city names and commas. Dan can't help but think there may be a formulaic approach that would be easier.

There needs to be a few assumptions made about the data in order to make any recommendations. Let's assume, for example, that all the data is in this format:

```My Town, CA 98765-4321
```

The portion from the dash onward (the trailing part of the ZIP Code) is optional, but the position of the comma is static—it always follows the name of the town—and the state always consists of two characters. In this case it is easy to devise two formulas that extract the state abbreviation and the first five digits of the ZIP Code:

```=MID(A1,FIND(",",A1)+2,2)
=MID(A1,FIND(",",A1)+5,5)
```

Both formulas key on the comma; it serves as a delimiter between the city and the two items really wanted. If there is no comma in the data or if there are multiple commas, then the formulas won't return the desired information.

The formulas also assume that there are no extra spaces in your data; at most there is a single space after the comma and between the state and ZIP Code. This is, of course, easy enough to enforce—just use Find and Replace to replace two spaces with a single space anywhere in your worksheet.

Of course, if your data is this structured, you can still rely on the Text to Columns tool to do your work. All you need to do is run the tool and split your data based on the comma. This will leave the city in one cell and put the state and ZIP Code together in the next cell. Then you can use Text to Columns again, this time on the second cell (not the city name) and divide the contents based on the space.

If your data is not that structured—perhaps it has multiple commas in the address or extra spaces—then an entirely different approach is called for. To deal with this the basic technique involves trimming the data to remove extraneous spaces (leading, trailing, and internal), then determining the location of the last space and the second-to-last space.

You can pull out the five digits in the ZIP Code, which is defined as immediately following the last space in the data, by using this formula:

```=MID(TRIM(A1),FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1)," ",
CHAR(1),LEN(TRIM(A1))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1)," ",""))))+1,5)
```

The two-character state abbreviation can be returned by pulling out the two characters immediately following the second-to-last space:

```=MID(TRIM(A1),FIND(CHAR(1),SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1)," ",CHAR(1),
LEN(TRIM(A1))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1)," ",""))-1))+1,2)
```

If your data is even less structured—perhaps it includes addresses that don't all have two-character state abbreviations (N.J. instead of NJ)—then you would best be served to use a macro to divide up the data. The reason for this is that VBA has a much richer set of text handling functions than what you can do using Excel formulas. The following macro creates a user-defined function that can return either the state or ZIP Code:

```Function GetStateZIP(rstrAddress As String, iAction As Integer) As String
Dim arr As Variant
Dim sState As String
Dim sZIP As String

Application.Volatile
If Len(rstrAddress) = 0 Then Exit Function
With arr
If UBound(arr) < 2 Then
sState = "?"
sZIP = "?"
Else
sState = arr(UBound(arr) - 1)
sZIP = arr(UBound(arr))
End If
End With
If iAction = 1 Then
GetStateZIP = sState
End If
If iAction = 2 Then
GetStateZIP = sZIP
End If
End Function
```

To use this function, simply provide a cell reference and either 1 (if you want the state) or 2 (if you want the ZIP Code). Here is an example of requesting the ZIP Code for whatever address is in cell A1:

```=GetStateZIP(A1,2)
```

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9599) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Extracting a State and a ZIP Code.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Views

Need to display your worksheet in different ways? A quick way to do this is to create views, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text in Comments

Discover More

Saving Portions of Files

Want to save snippets from a document into individual files? There are a couple of easy ways to achieve this goal, as ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Determining Combinations to Make a Total

If you have a range of cells that contain values, you may wonder which combinations of those cells should be used to meet ...

Discover More

Summing Based on Part of a Control Cell

When analyzing data, you may have a need to calculate a sum based on just part of a particular cell. This tip examines ...

Discover More

Saving Common Formulas

Got some formulas you slaved over and want to use in lots of workbooks? This tip presents some helpful ideas on how you ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 0?

2019-12-12 03:46:10

Paul Seaman

For a non-formulaic approach, Excel 2013 (and newer versions) has Flash Fill.

Enter the data you want to extract in a new column in the first row of the table and click the Flash Fill button on the Data tab.

Flash Fill usually (but not always) makes a good job of the extraction. However, if it's not quite doing what you want, you may be able to correct one entry and have Flash Fill automatically correct the rest.

For example, if the ZIP code sometimes pulls out nine characters when you only wanted 5, you can manually correct one of the entries and Excel may be able to correct the others.

You can also join cell values (instead of using CONCATENATE or &) to make new composite columns.

The results however are not formulas, so if you change the original data you would need to repeat the Flash Fill(s)

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.