In Microsoft Excel, the FIND function is generally used to extract the position of a defined text in a cell containing a text string. In this article, you’ll get to learn how you can use this FIND function effectively in Excel with appropriate illustrations.

The above screenshot is an overview of the article, representing a few applications of the **FIND** function in Excel. You’ll learn more about the methods along with the other functions to use the **FIND** function precisely in the following sections of this article.

**Table of Contents**hide

**Introduction to the FIND Function**

**Function Objective:**

**FIND function returns the starting position of a case-sensitive text string within another text string.**

**Syntax:**

**=FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])**

**Arguments Explanation:**

Argument | Required/Optional | Explanation |
---|---|---|

find_text |
Required |
A text or a part of a text to be searched for in a cell containing another text string. |

within_text |
Required |
The cell containing the text where the defined character or part of the text will be searched for. |

[start_num] |
Optional |
Defined position in the text string from where the character count will be initiated. |

**Return Parameter:**

**A numerical value in an integer form that defines the position of the defined character in a text string.**

**How to Use FIND Function in Excel: 7 Suitable Examples**

**1. Using FIND Function to Extract the Position of a Specified Character in a Text**

In the following picture, **Column B** contains a few text values and **Column C** represents what is to be found in the texts in **Column B**. In **Column D**, we’ll extract the positions of the characters defined in **Column C**.

In **Cell D5**, the formula with the **FIND** function will be:

`=FIND(C5,B5)`

After pressing **Enter**, the function will return 5 which means the letter** ‘T’ **lies in the 5th position in the text in **Cell B5**. Similarly, you can find the next two outputs in **Cells D6 and D7**.

**2. Use of FIND Function for Case-Sensitive Character(s) in Excel**

While using the **FIND** function, you have to keep in mind that this function is responsible for extracting case-sensitive text from a cell. If the **FIND **function cannot find a text in a string with a case-sensitive match, then it’ll return a **#VALUE** error.

For example, in **Cell D5**, **‘t’** with lower-case cannot be found in **Cell B5 **and that’s why if you input **‘t’ **as find_text argument, you’ll be shown the **#VALUE** error. In **Cell D5**, we’ve defined the **find_text** argument with **‘T’ **and as a result, the function has returned an integer which is defining the position of** ‘T’** in the text string in **Cell B6**.

**3. Extracting Text from the Beginning of a String up to a Certain Position with FIND Function**

If you have a dataset with a list of texts from which you have to extract the initial parts only then the combination of **MID and FIND** functions should be handy enough. The **MID function** returns the characters from the middle of a text string, given a starting position and length. The generic formula of this **MID** function is:

**=MID(text, start_num, num_characters)**

For example, in **Column B**, there are some texts with spaces inside and we have to extract the first names or words only.

In the output **Cell C5**, the related formula will be:

`=MID(B5,1,FIND(" ",B5)-1)`

After pressing** Enter,** you’ll be displayed the word from the beginning of the text in **Cell B5**.

In this formula, the **starting_num** for the **MID** function is 1 which means the output text will start from the first character in **Cell B5**. **FIND** function defines the number of characters or character length up to the first space.

**4. Drawing Out Text from the End of a String with FIND Function in Excel**

With the combination of **RIGHT, LEN and FIND** functions, we can extract the text or word from the end of a text string. The **RIGHT function **returns the specified number of characters from the end of the text string whereas the **LEN function **returns the number of characters in a text string.

In **Column B**, a few names are lying and in **Column C**, we have to pull out the last names only. So, the related and combined formula in the output **Cell C5** will be:

`=RIGHT(B5,LEN(B5)-FIND(" ",B5))`

Press **Enter **and you’ll find the last name of Andy Robertson.

**🔎**** How Does the Formula Work?**

➤ **FIND** function returns the position of the first space from the text in **Cell B5** and that is 5.

➤ **LEN** function returns the total number of characters from the text string in **Cell B5** and that is 14.

➤ The difference between the previous two outputs is defined as the second argument for the **RIGHT** function which represents the number of characters from the end of a text string.

➤ Finally, the **RIGHT** function extracts the last name defined by the number of characters from the end of that text string.

**5. Finding the Position of a Character Multiple Times with FIND Function **

Let’s think of a range of cells where we have to find the position of a similar character multiple times in a text string. For example, from **Cell B5**, we’ll find out the positions of the 1st and 2nd spaces in the text string. To find the position of the first space, the related formula in** Cell C5** will be:

`=FIND(" ", B5) `

And to find the position of the second space in the text string lying in **Cell B5**, the related formula in the output** Cell D5** will be:

`=FIND(" ",B5,FIND(" ",B5)+1)`

**6. Returning All Characters Between the 1st & 2nd Occurrences with FIND Function**

Now **Column B** has several texts with two spaces. We’ll extract the text between those two spaces in **Column C **for each case.

In the output **Cell C5**, the related formula will be:

`=MID(B5, FIND(" ",B5)+1, FIND(" ", B5, FIND(" ",B5)+1) - FIND(" ",B5)-1)`

After pressing **Enter**, the formula will return the extracted data lying between the two spaces from the text string in **Cell B5**.

**🔎**** How Does the Formula Work?**

➤ In the second argument **(start_num)** of the MID function, the **FIND** function defines the starting number of the character as the position of the first space.

➤ **FIND(” “, B5, FIND(” “,B5)+1) – FIND(” “,B5)-1**; this part defines the number of characters before the second space from the starting position found in the previous step.

➤ Finally, the** MID** function returns the extracted text value based on the described arguments.

**7. Pulling Out Text within Parenthesis with FIND Function in Excel**

In **Column B**, there are a few texts with parenthesis inside. We’ll extract the data lying inside the parentheses only.

The required formula with **FIND and MID** function in the output **Cell C5** will be:

`=MID(B5,FIND("(",B5)+1, FIND(")",B5)-FIND("(",B5)-1)`

Press** Enter** and you’ll get the text between parentheses at once.

**🔎**** How Does the Formula Work?**

➤ In the second argument of the **MID** function, the **FIND **function defines the starting number for the **MID** function as the position of the **‘(‘ **and by adding **1** to it.

➤ The third argument of the **MID** function, **FIND(“)”,B5)-FIND(“(“,B5)-1**, defines the number of characters between the opening and closing brackets.

➤ Finally, the **MID** function returns the extracted data or text within the parenthesis.

**💡**** Things to Keep in Mind**

🔺 If more than one character is included in the **FIND** function, it’ll return the position of the first character only.

🔺 **FIND** function does not support wildcard characters as it extracts the position of the defined text only in a numerical value.

🔺 As the **FIND** function is case-sensitive, the function will be unable to find the character if you include a text with the wrong case(s) as the find_text argument, and thereby the function will return a **#VALUE** error.

🔺 To avoid case-sensitivity, use the **SEARCH function** instead of the **FIND** function.

🔺 If the **find_text** argument is empty, the function will return **1**.

🔺 If the input in the** find_text** argument is found more than once in the selected text string, the function will return the position of the first finding only.

**Download Practice Workbook**

You can download the Excel workbook that we’ve used to prepare this article.

**Concluding Words**

I hope all of the suitable methods mentioned above to use the** FIND **function will now prompt you to apply them in your Excel spreadsheets with more productivity. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comment section. Or you can check out our other articles related to Excel functions on this website.