Excel FIND function returns an integer that represents the position of a specified character or substring, within a text. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use Excel FIND function, and also go over some tips and error handling methods.

Supported versions

  • All Excel versions

FIND Syntax

FIND(find_text, within_text, start_num)


find_text The character or the substring you want to find.
within_text The text that contains the character or substring you want to find.
start_num Optional. The position of the character that you want to start the search. If omitted, the function starts looking from the first character.


Example 1

 formula returns 3 for position of the first occurrence of the character “a”. The start_num argument is omitted to make the function start from the first character.


Example 2

formula returns 7 for position of the first occurrence of the character “a” after the 4th character.


Example 3

returns 6 for position of the first occurrence of the string “zard”.


Download Workbook


  • Excel FIND function is case-sensitive and does not support wild cards.
  • Use the SEARCH function for non-case sensitive searches. You can also use wild cards with this formula.
  • You can combine the FIND function with LEFT, MID, and RIGHT functions to locate and parse substrings.



You will see a #VALUE! error if find_text is not found in the within_text range.