Excel Find Function
This post will guide you how to use Excel FIND function with syntax and examples in Microsoft excel.
Table of Contents
Description
The Excel FIND function returns the position of the first text string (sub string) within another text string.
It can be used when you want to get the position of a sub string inside another text string. so it will return a number that indicates the starting position of sub string that you are searching in another text string.
The FIND function is a buildin function in Microsoft Excel and it is categorized as a Text Function.
Note: The FIND Function is casesensitive.
The FIND function is available in Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2003, Excel xp, Excel 2000, Excel 2011 for Mac.
Syntax
The syntax of the FIND function is as below:
= FIND(find_text, within_text,[start_num])
Where the FIND function arguments are:
 Find_text This is a required argument. The text or substring that you want to find. (The string in the Find_text argument can not contain any wildcard characters)
 within_text This is a required argument. The text string that is to be searched
 start_numThis is an optional argument. It will specify the position in within text string where the search will start. If you omit start_num value, the search will start from the first character of the within_text string, in other words, it is set to be 1 by default. So you can use the Excel Find function to look for the specified text starting from the specified position.
Note:
 The Find function will return the position of the first character of find_text in within_text argument.
 If there are several occurrences of the find_text within another text string, it only return the position of the first occurrence.
 If the find_text is an empty string, the position of the first character in the within_text is returned.
 If the find_text string is not found in within_text, it will return the Excel #VALUE! Error.
 If start_number value is not greater than 0, it will return the #VALUE! Error value.
 As the FIND function is casesensitive. If you want to do a search that is caseinsensitive , you can use the SEARCH Function.
 The FIND function does not support wildcard characters, so if you want to use wildcard characters to find string, you can use SEARCH function in excel.
Excel Find Function Examples
The below example will show you how to use Excel FIND Text function to find the position of a sub string within text string.
#1 To get the position of sub string “how” in cell B1, just using formula:
=FIND("how",B1,1).
When you look for the text “how” in the Cell B1, it will return 6, which is the position of the first character of find_text “how” within the Cell B1.
#2 To get the position of sub string “how”in cell b1, starting with the third character, using formula:
=FIND("how",B1,3)
In the above example, it specified the start_num value as “3“, so you will get the position of the first character “h” of the searched string “how” within the value in Cell B1 when the starting position is 3. it returns 6.
The Example 1The search will start from the third character of the value in Cell B1.
#3 Finding “excel” string in Cell B1, using the following Find formula:
=FIND("excel",B1,1) =FIND("excel",B1,3)
when you set the starting position as 1, it will return the position of the first “excel” string in the value of Cell B1.
When you set the starting position as 3, it will return the position of the second “excel” string in the value of Cell B1. The search will start from the third character of the value in Cell B1.
#4 Searching an empty string in Cell B1, using the following Find formula:
=FIND("",B1,1)
In the above example, when you look for an empty string in Cell B1 with the starting position as 1, and it will return the position of the first character of the within_ text (the value of Cell B1).
#5 Searching “word” text in Cell B1, using the following Find formula:
=FIND("word", B1,1)
In the above example, when you look for the text “word” in Cell B1 and the string position is 1, it will return a #VALUE! error, As the searched string “word” is not found in Cell B1.
#6 Searching for a text as “excel” in Cell B1 and the starting position is a negative number.
=FIND("excel",B1,1)
If the starting position is not greater than 0, it will return a #VALUE! Error.
#7 Searching for a string as “EXCEL” in Cell B1, using the following formula:
=FIND("EXCEL",B1,1)
As the FIND function in excel is casesensitive, when you look for the string “EXCEL” in Cell B1, the searched string “EXCEL” is not found, the function will return a #VALUE! error.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: the FIND function returns a #VALUE error when it do not find the searched text within another string. I want to know if there is another excel function in combination with the find function to handle the error message to return the actual value, such as: 1 or throwing others exceptions via returning values, like: 1,0 or FALSE.
Answer: As mentioned above, the FIND function is casesensitive, and it can be combined with the ISNUMBER function and IF function to create a new IF excel formula as follows:
=IF(ISNUMBER( FIND("excel",B1)), FIND("excel",B1), "not found")
The FIND function will locate the position of the searched text “excel” within Cell B1, and the ISNUMBER function will check the result returned by the FIND function if it is a number, if TRUE, then return TRUE, otherwise , returns FALSE. then the IF will check the Boolean value returned by ISNUMBER function, If TRUE, then returns the numeric position returned by the second FIND function, If FALSE, returns “not found” string.
If you want a caseinsensitive match and you can use the SEARCH function instead of the FIND function in the above formula:
=IF(ISNUMBER( SEARCH("excel",B1)), SEARCH("excel",B1), "not found")
Question 2: I want to extract a sub string from a string that separated by wildcard characters. I tried to use the below FIND formula to handle it. but it returned a #VALUE error message. Could you please help to check the below formula I used:
=RIGHT(B1,FIND("~**",B1))
Answer: you can use the following formula:
=TRIM(RIGHT(B1,Len(B1)  FIND("**",B1)1))
The find function will return the position of the first wildcard (**) character within a string in Cell B1. you need subtract the numeric position returned by FIND function from the length of the string in Cell B1 to get the length of sub string to the right of the wildcard character(asterisk). then the RIGHT function extracts the rightmost characters based on the length of sub string.
or you can use another formula to achieve the same result as follows:
=MID(B1,FIND("**",B1)+2,255)
Question 3: I am trying to extract the first word from another text string separated by space character. but it always return a #VALUE error message. I think it should be use the FIND function in combination with another function, such as: left function. but I still don’t know how to combine with those two functions to extract the first word.
Answer: right, you can create a excel formula that uses the FIND function and LEFT function. and you can use the below formula:
=IFERROR(LEFT(B1, FIND(" ",B1)1),B1)
The find function returns the position of the first space character in the text string in Cell B1. the Formula “=FIND(” “,B1)1 returns the numbers of the first word as the second arguments of the LEFT function.
If the text string in Cell B1 just only contains one word, then the find function will return #VALUE error. to handle this error, you need to use the IFERROR function, if the find function is not find the space character, then return the text string in B1. in other words, it just contains only one word in Cell B1.
Question 4: I am trying to extract an email address from a text string in Cell B1. how to write a excel formula to achieve the result.
Answer: you can use a combination of the TRIM function, the LEFT function, the SUBSTITUTE function, the MID function, the MAX function and the REPT function to create a complex excel formula to extract email address from a string in Cell B1.
=TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(LEFT(B1,FIND (" ",B1&" ",FIND("@",B1))1)," ", REPT(" ",LEN(B1))),LEN(B1)))
=TRIM( MID( SUBSTITUTE(B1, " ", REPT(" ",255)), MAX(1, FIND( "@", SUBSTITUTE(B1, " ", REPT(" ",255))) 50),255))
Question 5: I am trying to get the first name from a full name separated by a comma character. how to use a excel formula to extract the first name from a name as: “Last name, First name” format.
Answer: you can use a combination with the RIGHT function, the LEN function and the FIND function to create a excel formula to get the first name from a name. just using the following formula:
=RIGHT(B1,LEN(B1)  FIND(", ",B1)1)
Related Functions

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Excel Find function
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Excel ISERROR function
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More FIND Formula Examples in Excel

Split Text String by Specified Character
you should use the Left function in combination with FIND function to split the text string in excel. And we can refer to the below formula that will find the position of ““in Cell B1 and extract all the characters to the left of the dash character ““.=LEFT(B1,FIND(““,B1,1)1).… 
Split Text String by Line Break
When you want to split text string by line break in excel, you should use a combination of the LEFT, RIGHT, CHAR, LEN and FIND functions. The CHAR (10) function will return the line break character, the FIND function will use the returned value of the CHAR function as the first argument to locate the position of the line break character within the cell B1.… 
Split Text and Numbers in Excel
If you want to split text and numbers, you can run the following excel formula that use the MIN function, FIND function and the LEN function within the LEFT function in excel. .… 
Get the Current Worksheet Name only
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Get full File Name (workbook and worksheet) and Path
In excel, you can get the current workbook name and it is absolute path using the CELL function. Just refer to the following formula:=CELL(“filename”,B1).… 
Get the Current Workbook Name
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Get Path and Workbook name only
If you want to get the workbook name and its path only without worksheet name, you can use a combination of the SUBSTITUTE function, the LEFT function, the CELL function and the FIND function…. 
Get First Name From Full Name
If you want to get the first name from a full name list in Column B, you can use the FIND function within LEFT function in excel. The generic formula is as follows:=LEFT(B1,FIND(” “,B1)1).… 
Get Last Name From Full Name
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The different between FIND and SEARCH functions
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Data Validation for Specified Text only
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Quickly Get Sheet Name
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Removing Salutation from Name
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