How to use SEARCH Function in Excel

The SEARCH function locates the position of a text string from another text string.

You can search for a single character as well as for a word from a text string. It returns the position number of the first character of the text which you are finding.



  1. find_text Text string which you want to find from the other text string. This can be a single text string or a word.
  2. within_text Text string from which you want to locate the text. You can refer to a cell or you can input a text in your function.
  3. [start_num] A number which represents the position in within_text to start the search for the find_text.


In the below example, we are searching for alphabet "P" and we have specified start_num as 1 to start our search.

Our formula returns 1 as the position of the text.

get position of pivot from the text using search function

But, if you look at the word, we also have a "P" at 6th position.

That means search function can only return the position of the first occurrence of a text, or if you specify the start position accordingly.


Sample File