Excel FIND Function – You Can Run But You Cannot Hide!
The Excel FIND Function is great for locating the starting point of your desired text within another string of text. It is another one of the most used functions that is great to know, when you need to locate specific text within a long string of characters.
Excel FIND Function:
Syntax of the Excel FIND Function:
- FIND(find_this_text, within_this_text, [start_position])
- find_this_text (Required) - This is the text you are trying to locate.
- within_this_text (Required) - The string containing the text you are looking for.
- start_position (Optional) - Determines what character to start searching at. The first character in the string of text is number 1. If you omit this argument then the function will start searching at the 1st character.
- This function is Case Sensitive, so if the find_this_text argument is uppercase and the within_this_text argument does not contain that uppercase letter, then the function will return an error of #VALUE!.
- This function does NOT allow the use of Wildcards, such as the ? (question mark), to substitute a single character, or the * (asterisk), to substitute multiple characters.
- If you need your search to be Case Insensitive or you need to use Wildcards, because you just don't know what characters to search for, then you will want to use the
Excel SEARCH Function instead.
- =FIND("r", "railroad") = 1 - (Finds the lowercase R, starting at the 1st character)
- =FIND("r", "railroad", 2) = 5 - (Finds the lowercase R, starting from the 2nd character)
- =FIND("R", "railroad") = #VALUE! - (There is no uppercase R in the string)
- =FIND("ro", "railroad") = 5 - (Returns the starting position for the given 2 letters)
Download The Example Spreadsheet Here:
Why use the Excel FIND Function?
The Excel FIND Function is useful when you need to locate the starting point of a word or a set of words, in a long string of characters. Once you have the starting point, you can use other functions to pull out the data you need.
While this function can be useful, it is a bit restrictive being that it is Case Sensitive and does not allow for the use of Wildcards to find the data. Maybe these restrictions are necessary in some cases, but I would think that most of the time they would be more of a hindrance. If you prefer the restrictions then by all means use this function, but if you find them too difficult to get around, then you will want to use the Excel SEARCH Function instead.
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