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SEARCH returns the number of the character at which a specific character or text string is first found, beginning with start_num. Use SEARCH to determine the location of a character or text string within another text string so that you can use the MID or REPLACE functions to change the text.


SEARCH ( find_text , within_text ,start_num)

Find_text is the text you want to find. You can use the wildcard characters question mark (?) and asterisk (*) in find_text. A question mark matches any single character; an asterisk matches any sequence of characters. If you want to find an actual question mark or asterisk, type a tilde (~) before the character.

Within_text is the text in which you want to search for find_text.

Start_num is the character number in within_text at which you want to start searching.

Use start_num to skip a specified number of characters. For example, suppose you are working with the text string "AYF0093.YoungMensApparel". To find the number of the first "Y" in the descriptive part of the text string, set start_num equal to 8 so that the serial-number portion of the text is not searched. SEARCH begins with character 8, finds find_text at the next character, and returns the number 9. SEARCH always returns the number of characters from the start of within_text, counting the characters you skip if start_num is greater than 1.


  • SEARCH does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters when searching text.

  • SEARCH is similar to FIND except that FIND is case sensitive.

  • If find_text is not found, the #VALUE! error value is returned.

  • If start_num is omitted, it is assumed to be 1.

  • If start_num is not greater than 0 (zero) or is greater than the length of within_text, the #VALUE! error value is returned.






Description (Result)


Profit Margin



Position of the first "e" in the string, starting at the sixth position (7)


Profit Margin



Position of "margin" in "Profit Margin" (8)


Profit Margin



Replaces "Margin" with "Amount" (Profit Amount)