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How To Use SEARCH Function In Excel (Easy Steps)

January 16, 2024 1.4K views

This article will explore the powerful Excel SEARCH function, which must often be utilized despite its immense potential. Excel is a versatile tool, but users frequently face complexity when sorting through vast data and numerous functions. We aim to demystify the SEARCH function and provide clear, easy-to-follow steps on creating and applying it in your spreadsheets. By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to organize and analyze your data efficiently.

Introduction

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for organizing data and performing calculations. For beginners, it can be overwhelming with so many functions available. One valuable function is the Excel SEARCH function, which allows you to find specific text within data strings.

This article will guide you through the easy steps of using the SEARCH function in Excel. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, you'll learn what is SEARCH function in Excel is and practical tips for using it effectively.

What Is The Search Function In Excel?

The SEARCH function in Excel is categorized under text or string functions and can be found within the Formulas Tab under 'Function Library.' With the SEARCH function, you can easily locate specific words, phrases, or characters within a large data set.

The SEARCH function operates by searching for a specific piece of text and returning the position where it is located within the cell. For example, Suppose you have the text "I ate an apple for breakfast," and you want to find the position of the word "apple." Using the SEARCH function in Excel will give you the value "9," indicating that "apple" starts at the ninth character position within the text.

It requires two inputs; the text string you want to locate and the text string you want to search within. After finding the specified text, the output is the position where the text string was found within the searched cell. The SEARCH function is not case-sensitive and can locate text strings irrespective of their case.

Excel Find Function

Excel find function is another powerful tool for searching within a dataset. This function allows you to search for specific text or values within a cell or a range of cells. Using the Excel find function, you can easily locate and isolate the desired data and perform calculations or analysis more efficiently.

Excel Search Function Multiple Values

Excel search function multiple allows users to search for multiple instances of a text or value within a larger data string. This function is a great time-saver for those who need to search for multiple keywords or phrases within a dataset. By using the Excel search function multiple, you can save time and effort and quickly identify the relevant data.

Excel Search Function Array

Excel search function array allows you to search across multiple ranges or columns of data. This function is particularly useful for large datasets with multiple columns that must be searched. You can perform a comprehensive search across all the selected ranges using the Excel search function array and easily locate the required data.

Search Text In Excel Formula

The Excel search function can also be used within a formula to search for a specific text or value within a cell. It is particularly useful when performing calculations based on specific data values. Using the search text in the Excel formula, you can easily locate and use the desired data for your calculation.

Excel Search Function Shortcut

The Excel search function shortcut allows you to quickly access the search function without navigating through multiple menus. This shortcut key is "Ctrl+F" and can open the search function directly. By using this shortcut key, you can save time and perform searches more efficiently.

Search Function Excel - Multiple Words

The SEARCH function in Excel is a helpful tool that allows you to search for multiple words or phrases within a string of data or a dataset. It becomes especially handy when you need to find a combination of keywords related to a specific dataset. You can easily locate relevant data and perform more accurate analysis using the Excel search function multiple words values/words.

Excel Search Function In Range

Excel search function allows you to search within a specific range of cells. It is especially useful when searching for data within a larger dataset. You can limit the search criteria by specifying the range and quickly identifying the required data.

How To Create And Use The Search Function In Excel?

If you want to know how to create a search function in Excel or use it, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose the cell where you want the results to appear. Usually, this is a blank cell close to the data you are working with.

  • Enter the following formula into the selected cell: =SEARCH("search text," range).

  • Replace "search text" with the specific text you want to find. It can be a single word or a phrase.

  • Change "range" with the range of cells you want to search within. This can be a single cell or a range of cells.

  • Press "Enter" to see the results of the search.

Here are three examples of how to use the SEARCH function in Excel:

Example 1: Searching For A Single Word

Let's say you want to search for the word "apple" within a list of fruit names. You would select an empty cell, type =SEARCH("apple," A1:A10), and press enter. The SEARCH function will return the word "apple" position within the range of cells A1 to A10.

Example 2: Searching For A Phrase

If you want to search for a specific phrase, such as "product launch date," you would select an empty cell, type =SEARCH("product launch date," A1:A10), and press enter. The SEARCH function will search for the exact phrase within the range of cells A1 to A10 and return the position of the first character within the cell where the phrase is found.

Example 3: Using The Search Function In Combination With Other Functions

You can use the SEARCH function in combination with other functions for more complex calculations. For instance, if you need to extract a date from a text containing "product launch date," you can use this formula: =DATEVALUE(MID(B2, SEARCH("product launch date," B2)+18,10)).

The SEARCH function locates the "product launch date" within cell B2 with this formula. The MID the function then extracts the date (10 characters long), and the DATEVALUE function converts it into a date format.

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Mastering the SEARCH function for efficient data analysis



Using The Search Function In Wps Spreadsheet

WPS Spreadsheets, a part of the WPS Office suite, offers the SEARCH function like Microsoft Excel. This function helps you find a specific text within a larger data string. To use the SEARCH function in WPS Spreadsheets, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open your WPS Spreadsheets program and open a worksheet that contains data.

Learn how to find specific text with Excel's SEARCH function



Step 2: Select the cell or range of cells where you want to search for specific text.

Using SEARCH in Excel: A simple yet powerful tool for data manipulation


Step 3: Click the "Formulas" tab in the ribbon and choose the "Function" button.

Discover the magic of Excel SEARCH


Step 4: In the "Function" dialog box, select "String" from the category list and choose the "SEARCH" function.

Easy Excel SEARCH function guide: Boost your spreadsheet skills


Step 5: In the "SEARCH" dialog box, type the text you want to find in the "Find_text" field. Next, choose the range of cells you want to search in the "Within_text" field.

Locate data effortlessly with Excel's SEARCH function


Step 6: Click the "OK" button. The SEARCH function will locate the specified text and provide the position of the first character within the larger string.

Excel SEARCH function demystified: A beginner's tutorial

Step 6: Finally, click on the "OK" button. The SEARCH function will look for the specified text and return the position of the first character of the found text within the larger string.

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FAQs

Can I use the Excel search function to search for data in multiple worksheets within a workbook?

You can search for data in multiple worksheets within a single workbook using the Excel search function. You can search within a specific worksheet or the entire workbook by selecting the "Workbook" option in the "Within" dropdown menu. This feature is especially handy when dealing with extensive data across multiple worksheets, and you need to locate specific information quickly.

Can the Excel search function be case-sensitive?

Yes, the Excel search function can be made case-sensitive. By default, the search function is not case-sensitive, but you can do so by ticking the "Match case" option in the search dialog box. It is useful if you want to specifically search for text in uppercase or lowercase letters or to ensure that your search results are exact matches.

Is the Excel search function limited to text-based searches only?

No, the Excel search function is not limited to text-based searches only. It can search for any data in an Excel worksheet, including numbers, dates, and even formulas. However, it's important to format the search term correctly when searching for non-text data. For example, format the search term like the date in the worksheet if you're searching for a date.

Closing Thoughts

Learning how to use the Excel SEARCH function can greatly enhance your data analysis capabilities. Following the easy steps outlined in this article, you can efficiently search for specific text within larger data strings, saving you time and increasing accuracy.

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