FIND Function

Returns the position of a specified character or sub-string within a supplied text string

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What is the FIND Function?

The FIND Function[1] is categorized under Excel TEXT functions. The function will return the position of a specified character or sub-string within a supplied text string.

In financial analysis, we can use this function to locate specific data.

FIND Function Formula

=FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])

The FIND function uses the following arguments:

  1. Find_text (required argument) – This is the character or sub-string we wish to find.
  2. Within_text (required argument) – The text string that we need to search.
  3. Start_num (optional argument) – Specifies the position in the within_text string, from which the search should begin. If we omit the argument, it will take on the default value of 1, that is, it will begin the search at the start of the within_text string.

How to use the FIND Function in Excel?

As a worksheet function, FIND can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet. To understand the uses of the function, let us consider an example:

Example 1

Suppose we wish to find certain characters from the data below:

  • Data is not correct
  • Revenue grew by 5%
  • Original Text

The results in Excel are shown in the screenshot below:

FIND Function

Note that in the above spreadsheet:

  1. Due to the case-sensitivity of the FIND function, the uppercase and lowercase find_text values, “T” and “t”, will return different results.
  2. If we kept the [start_num] argument to 4, the search begins at the fourth character of the within_text string.

A few things to remember about the FIND Function:

  1. The FIND function will return the location of the first instance of find_text in within_text.
  2. The location is returned as the number of characters from the start of within_text.
  3. Start_num is optional and defaults to 1.
  4. FIND will return a #VALUE error if find_text is not found in within_text.
  5. The function is case-sensitive and does not support wildcards.
  6. We can use the SEARCH function to search without case-sensitivity and/or to use wildcards.

Click here to download the sample Excel file

Additional Resources

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