Excel Search Function

This post will guide you how to use Excel SEARCH function with syntax and examples in Microsoft excel.


The Excel SEARCH function returns the number of the starting location of a substring in a text string.

The SEARCH function is a build-in function in Microsoft Excel and it is categorized as a Text Function.

The SEARCH function is available in Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2003, Excel XP, Excel 2000, Excel 2011 for Mac.


The syntax of the SEARCH function is as below:

= SEARCH  (find_text, within_text,[start_num])

Where the SEARCH function arguments are:
find_text -This is a required argument. The substring that you want to find
within_text -This is a required argument. The text string in which you want to search for the substring (find_text).
Start_num -This is an optional argument. The starting position to search.
Note: If find_text string is not found, the search function will return the #VALUE! Error value.  If start_num value is omitted, it is set to be 1 by default.  If Decimals value is negative, the #VALUE! Error value is returned.


The below examples will show you how to use Excel SEARCH Text function to get the position of substring in a text string.

#1 To get the position of “excelhow” text string in B1 cell, starting at the second position, just using formula:= SEARCH(“excelhow”,B1,2).

excel function search example1


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