4 Easy Ways to Search in Google Sheets (With Examples)

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4 Easy Ways to Search in Google Sheets (With Examples)

As a spreadsheet user, you may often find yourself searching through data rows in search of a certain term. This is simple to perform manually on smaller spreadsheets. This becomes almost difficult with massive spreadsheets.

Fortunately, Google Sheets has various built-in tools for searching for data in your spreadsheets.

4 Ways to Search in Google Sheets

You may search for text in your spreadsheet in a variety of ways. We’ll go through some of them in depth here. To search text in your spreadsheets, you may use formulae and other built-in functions in Google Sheets. Here are various strategies for searching text in your spreadsheet.

This post will cover the following methods for searching in Google Sheets:

  • The find and replace tool
  • The FIND function
  • The SEARCH function
  • The MATCH function

Each operates somewhat differently, so experimenting with them all will help you identify the best approach to search Google Sheets based on your individual requirements. Whether you’re new to spreadsheets or an experienced entrepreneur, how to search is an essential skill for Google Sheets.

This function is incorporated into Google Sheets and searches the spreadsheet for the term you provide. It has a few benefits over using formulae to do the same thing, the most notable of which being case matching. It is also one of Google Sheets’ greatest basic utilities.

To access the Find and Replace feature in Google Sheets:

  1. In the top bar of your main Google Sheets screen, click Edit.
  2. In the drop-down selection that appears, choose Find and replace. This will bring up a new window in the center of the screen.

On Windows, you may also use the Ctrl + H keyboard shortcut to do the same thing. The shortcut on macOS is Cmd + Shift + H.

In the above example, we can identify the cells that contain the term “Pencil.” There are two text fields in the Find and Replace window: Find and Replace with. Enter your term in the Find text box. If you have numerous sheets, choose All sheets from the Search menu.

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Finally, press the Find button. This will lead you to the spreadsheet’s first incidence of the text. You may navigate the spreadsheet by pressing the button many times.

If you don’t intend to modify any data and don’t want any of the complex search options, utilize the Find function instead. In Windows, you may go to this by using Ctrl + F. Cmd + F is the shortcut for macOS users.

2. The FIND Function

This algorithm may be used to determine the point in the text when the string is first noticed. This formula is case-sensitive, so make sure the text you input is in the correct case. The formula’s syntax is as follows:

=FIND(search-for, search-text, start-at)

The formula uses three arguments. These are:

  • search-for: the text in the search-text field that you’re looking for.
  • search-text: this specifies the cell or cell range in which the function will look for the text specified in the search-for argument.
  • start-at: an optional argument that specifies the character in the search-text. This determines where the search will begin.

In this example, cell A2 has a phrase. We’re hoping to locate the word “fox” there. The following are the measures to take:

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the formula.
  2. Enter the first half of the formula, =FIND(.
  3. Now, enter the cell address of the text you wish to search for. It is cell D2 in this scenario. You may also put the content within quote marks if you choose.
  4. Enter the mobile phone number that contains the text you want to search for. It is cell A2 in this situation.
  5. Add a closing bracket.
  6. To run the formula, press Enter.
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It should be noted that this formula is case-sensitive. If you put “Fox” instead of “fox,” the formula will fail. You may use the SEARCH formula to find a comparable function that isn’t case-sensitive.

If the numerical output in the example confuses you, remember that the FIND function records the position of the string, in our instance, fox. The f in fox is the 17th letter in the cell (including spaces), so the result of 17.

3. The SEARCH Function

The SEARCH and FIND formulas are almost similar. The formula’s syntax is as follows:

=SEARCH(search-for, search-text, start-at)

The SEARCH formula, as you can see, employs the same parameters as the FIND function. To show this formula, we will use a different scenario for the search phrase. The SEARCH formula is used in the following manner.

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the formula.
  2. Enter the first portion of the formula, =SEARCH(.
  3. Now, enter the cell address of the text you wish to search for. It is cell D2 in this scenario.
  4. Enter the mobile phone number that contains the text you want to search for. It is cell A2 in this situation.
  5. Add a closing bracket.
  6. To run the formula, press Enter.

4. The MATCH Function

The MATCH function returns the location of a value inside a specific cell range that matches a user-specified value. The formula’s syntax is as follows:

=MATCH(key, range, type)

The formula uses three parameters. These are:

  • key: this is the value you want to look for. This may be either a number, a string, or a mix of the two.
  • range: the 1-dimensional array within which to look for the value. It should be noted that utilizing a 2-dimensional range will result in the #N/A! Error.
  • type: this is an optional argument that specifies how the range will be searched.
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You may put either 1, 0, or -1 in the type parameter.

  • The default is 1 and implies the range is in ascending order.
  • When the range is not in any specific order, the value 0 is utilized.
  • -1 assumes that the range is ordered descendingly.

The following are the steps to using a MATCH formula:

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the formula.
  2. Enter the first portion of the formula, =MATCH(.
  3. Now enter the text you wish to search for. In this scenario, we shall use quote marks to write “Desk.”
  4. Add a comma.
  5. Enter the cell range containing the text to be searched. It is the range B2:B31 in this situation.
  6. To separate the parameters, use another comma.
  7. Because the data is not in any specific sequence, the third option is set to 0.
  8. Add a closing bracket.
  9. To run the formula, press Enter.

Because the first occurrence of “Desk” occurs in the first row of the range, the outcome is 1.

Keeping Searching for Ways to Improve Your Spreadsheet Skills

Aside from SEARCH and FIND, these capabilities operate in quite distinct ways and are best utilized in certain situations. For the finest outcomes in your spreadsheets, get acquainted with all of them. By learning as many Google Sheets functionalities as possible, you’ll be able to use the program like an expert in no time.

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