## Overview of the FIND Function

**Description**

The **FIND **function is used to locate a particular character or substring inside a text string

**Generic Syntax**

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

**Argument Description**

Argument | Requirement | Explanation |
---|---|---|

find_text |
Required | Substring that we want to find. |

within_text |
Required | Where the text will be searched. |

[start_num] |
Optional | The beginning position of search in the text. The default value of this argument is 1. |

**Returns**

The location of a specific substring from a string.

**Available in**

All versions after **Excel 2003**.

## 4 Reasons with Solutions to FIND Function Not Working in Excel

### Reason 1 – The â€˜within_textâ€™ Argument Does Not Contain the â€˜find_textâ€™ Argument

In the following dataset, we have some strings in cells (**B5:B8**). We can find the positions of substrings of cell range (**b**) using the **FIND **function. Suppose we want to find the position of the substring â€˜**a**â€™ in the string **Microsoft**. The substring a is not present in string **Microsoft**. The â€˜**within_text**â€™ argument does not contain the â€˜**find_text**â€™ argument. The **FIND **function will not work in this case.

**STEPS:**

- Select cell
**D5**. - Insert the following formula in that cell:

`=FIND(C5,B5)`

- Press
**Enter**. - The above formula gives a
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**as the string**Microsoft**doesnâ€™t contain substring**a**.

- After using AutoFill, we get the
**#VALUE**error for each case since the substrings are not present in stings.

**Solution:**

- Use different search terms in column
**C**. Since the â€˜**within_text**â€™ contains the newly added values, we do not get any**#VALUE**error.

** **

**Read More:** How to Find Text in Cell in Excel

### Reason 2 – Case Sensitivity of Arguments

The **FIND **function doesnâ€™t work if the â€˜**find_tex**tâ€™ doesnâ€™t match exactly with the strings of â€˜**within_text**â€™. In the following dataset, we have the same dataset just with different substrings. In cell **B5, **the string is **Microsoft**. We will find the position of substring **m**. The substring character is in lower case while the string contains the same character in uppercase.

- We used this formula:

`=FIND(C5,B5)`

- We can see the
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**.

- Using AutoFill gets a
**#VALUE**error for each case since the substrings do not match exactly with any of the corresponding strings.

**Solution:**

- Replace the previous values of substrings with new values that match exactly with the â€˜
**within_text**â€™ argument.

** **

**Read More:** How to Find If A Range of Cells Contains Specific Text in Excel

### Reason 3 – The â€˜start_numâ€™ Argument Is Greater Than the â€˜within_textâ€™ Argument

While using the **FIND **function it is mandatory that the value of the â€˜**start_num**â€™ argument will not be greater than the number of total characters in the â€˜**within_text**â€™ argument. The **FIND **function in excel will not work if you input a value of the â€˜**start_num**â€™ argument greater than the â€˜**within_text**â€™ argument. To illustrate this method we will use the following dataset.

- We used the following formula:

`=FIND(C5,B5,7)`

- We get the
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**.

This error occurs because the position of substring **M **in string **Microsoft **is **1**. But the **FIND **function starts looking from position **7**. The function can’t find the position of **M **and returns the **#VALUE** error.

- Using AutoFill returns the
**#VALUE**error in all cases since the â€˜**start_num**â€™ argument is greater than the position of that string in â€˜**witin_text**â€™.

**Solution:**

- Replace the â€˜
**start_num**â€™ argument with**1Â**or omit it.

**Read More:** Find Last Value in Column Greater than Zero in Excel

### Reason 4 – The â€˜start_numâ€™ Argument Is Smaller Than or Equal to 0

We will use the negative value of the â€˜**start_num**â€™ argument in the following dataset.

- Here’s the formula we used in D5:

`=FIND(C5,B5,-1)`

- We get a
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**since we have used a negative value**-1**as the â€˜**start_num**â€™ argument.

- We used AutoFill and got similar error values.

**Solution:**

- Replace all the negative values with
**1.**

** **

**Read More:** How to Find Multiple Values in Excel

**Download the Practice Workbook**

**Related Articles**

- How to Find from Right in ExcelÂ
- Find External Links in ExcelÂ
- How to Find Character in String ExcelÂ
- Excel Find Last Column With Data
- Find First Occurrence of a Value in a Range in Excel
- Find the Last Cell With Value in Row in ExcelÂ

**<< Go Back to Excel FIND Function | Excel Functions | Learn Excel**