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How to use the FIND function in Microsoft Excel

Let's look at some Excel Find function examples and explore how to use the Find function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

FIND function


The FIND function in Excel is used to return the position of a specific character or sub-string within a text string.
The FIND function is a built-in function in Excel that is categorized as a Text Function.

What Does It Do ?

Get the location of text in a string.

Return value

A number representing the location of find_text.


=FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])

Parameters or Arguments

find_text - The text to find.
within_text - The text to search within.
start_num - The starting position in the text to search. Optional, defaults to 1.


No special formatting is needed, the result will be shown as a number.

Usage notes

  • If the find_text argument contains several characters, the FIND function returns the position of the first character. For example, the formula FIND("en","sentence") returns 2 because "e" in the 2nd letter in the word "sentence".
  • If within_text contains several occurrences of find_text, the first occurrence is returned. For example, FIND("l", "Ball") returns 3, which is the position of the first "l" character in the word "Ball".
  • If find_text is an empty string "", the Excel FIND formula returns the first character in the search string.
  • The location is returned as the number of characters from the start of within_text.
  • Start_num is optional and defaults to 1.
  • The Excel FIND function returns the #VALUE! error if any of the following occurs:
  • =>Find_text does not exist in within_text.
    =>Start_num contains more characters than within_text.
    =>Start_num is 0 (zero) or a negative number.
  • The FIND function is case sensitive and does not allow wildcard characters.
  • If you are looking for a case-insensitive match, use the SEARCH function and/or to use wildcards.

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