FIND function

The Excel FIND function is a useful tool for finding the position of a specific substring within a larger text string. It’s handy when you want to locate a particular word, phrase, or character in a cell’s content.


FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])


find_textThe text you want to find within the larger text string.
within_textThe text string in which you want to search for the find_text.
[start_num] (Optional) The position within within_text where you want to start the search. If not provided, the search starts from the beginning. If you want to start from a specific character, you can specify it here.

How to use

The FIND function is straightforward to use. Let’s consider a few examples:

Example 1: Finding “apple” in cell A1:

This formula will return the position of “apple” within the text in cell A1. If “apple” is found at the beginning of the text, it will return 1, and so on.

Example 2: Starting the search from the 5th character in cell A1:

By adding the optional start_num argument, you can begin the search from a specific character position in the text. In this case, it will look for “pear” starting from the 5th character of the text in cell A1.

Example 3: Handling cases where the find_text is not in the within_text:

If “banana” is not found in the text in cell A1, the formula will return an error value, #VALUE!. You can use the IFERROR function to handle such situations and display a custom message or perform an alternative action.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.