Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Where Is that Text?.

Where Is that Text?

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 19, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


1

Jay needs to determine the cell in which a particular text value occurs. He knows he can use Excel's Find and Replace capabilities to manually determine the address of cells containing a text value, but he is looking for a formula to determine the address of the cells. He wonders if there is a way to search for piece of text within a range and have Excel return the address of the cell in which the text is found.

There are two things you can try. First, if you are looking for an exact match for cell contents, then you can use a formula. The basic formula is this:

=ADDRESS(MATCH(C2,A:A,0),1)

In this example, cell C2 contains the value you are looking for and column A is the range of cells being searched. The formula returns a result regardless of the capitalization of C2 or the values in column A. Thus, if C2 contains "apple", then the formula will match positively to cells that contain "apple," "Apple," or "APPLE." Indeed, any mix of capitalization will match.

This formula will not return an address for a cell that contains what you are searching for amidst other text. So if you are searching for "apple" (cell C2), it won't return the address of a cell that contains the phrase "apple crisp." You can modify this behavior, a bit, by adding wild card characters to the search cell. For instance, if you search for "*apple*" then the formula returns the address of a cell that contains "apple", even if it is preceded or followed by other characters.

It should be pointed out that this formula only returns the address of the first cell in the range which meets the criteria. If you actually want the addresses of all cells that meet the criteria, then you'll need to rely on a macro. The following is a good example:

Function FindMe(x As Range, y As String) As String
    Dim r As Range
    Dim sResults As String
    Dim sSearch As String

    Application.Volatile
    sSearch = LCase(y)
    For Each r In x
        If InStr(1, LCase(CStr(r.Value)), sSearch) > 0 Then
            sResults = sResults & r.Address & ", "
        End If
    Next r
    If Len(sResults) > 2 Then
        FindMe = Left(sResults, Len(sResults) - 2)
    Else
        FindMe = ""
    End If
End Function

You use the function by simply providing the range you want to search along with what you want to search for:

=FindMe(A:A, "apple")

If you use a large range (as in this example—all of column A), then don't be surprised if the function takes a noticeable amount of time to return a result. This makes sense, as it has to search through every cell in the range, regardless of whether there is anything in the cell or not.

You also don't need to use any wildcards with this function; it assumes that a match occurs if what you are looking for is located anywhere within the cell. It also doesn't pay attention to the capitalization of what you are looking for or the capitalization of anything in the search range.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10082) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Where Is that Text?.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Automatically Formatting Text within Quotes

Some people use quote marks around text to make it stand out. At some point you may want to treat the quoted text ...

Discover More

Putting Character Codes to Work

If you know the character codes for some characters of interest, you can use those codes to do lots of tasks. This tip ...

Discover More

Specifying a Table of Contents Entry

If you need to create a specialized table of contents, you need to know how to add TOC entries to your document. It's ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Generating Random Strings of Characters

If you need to generate a random sequence of characters, of a fixed length, then you'll appreciate the discussion in this ...

Discover More

Using Named Formulas Across Workbooks

You can use the naming capabilities of Excel to name both ranges and formulas. Accessing that named information in a ...

Discover More

Starting Out Formulas

When you enter a formula from the keyboard, Excel only knows it is a formula if you start it with an equal sign. You can ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 7?

2015-10-17 05:05:59

ENET

I am using sql to retrieve data from a excel table and the vbscript also in the same workbook. which works fine!
But I need to run that script and get result, from another workbook. is there any way to do that.

I have tried so many scripts on net on this, nothing works. As the sql does not accept full path of workbook+sheetname+rangeaddress.

thanks in advance


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.