How to Use SEARCH in Google Sheets in 2020?

SEARCHReturns the position at which a string is first found within text, ignoring case.

Sample Usage


SEARCH(“wood”,”How much wood can a woodchuck chuck”,14)


SEARCH(search_for, text_to_search, [starting_at])

search_for – The string to look for within text_to_search.

text_to_search – The text to search for the first occurrence of search_for.

starting_at – [ OPTIONAL – 1 by default ] – The character within text_to_search at which to start the search.


SEARCH is not case-sensitive, meaning that uppercase and lowercase letters do not matter. For example, “abc” will match “ABC”. To compare text where case matters, use the FIND function.
Ensure that search_for and text_to_search are not supplied in reverse order, or the #VALUE! error will likely be returned. The arguments are supplied in a different order than other text functions such as SPLIT and SUBSTITUTE.
It’s recommended to use a function such as IFERROR to check for cases when there aren’t matches to the search.

See Also

SUBSTITUTE: Replaces existing text with new text in a string.

SPLIT: Divides text around a specified character or string, and puts each fragment into a separate cell in the row.

FIND: Returns the position at which a string is first found within text, case-sensitive.

IFERROR: Returns the first argument if it is not an error value, otherwise returns the second argument if present, or a blank if the second argument is absent.