Today’s tutorial will show you **how to find if a cell contains specific text** using the ISNUMBER and SEARCH functions.

If you are working with string manipulation functions in Excel, it can be useful if you want to identify a substring in a text string. This guide will show three methods to perform the task. You can use built-in Excel functions and conditional formatting.

## How to find if a cell contains a specific text in Excel?

**Generic formula** to find if a cell contains a specific part of the arbitrary text:

`=ISNUMBER(SEARCH(substring, text))`

**Arguments:**

**substring**= the text that we find**text**= cell reference

We want to find a substring in a cell or string; the text is the variable we are looking for.

In the example, the formula in F3 is the following:

`=ISNUMBER(SEARCH(D3,B3))`

The formula has multiple (in this case, two) outputs: If the substring exists in the given string, we’ll get TRUE. If the substring is not available, the result is FALSE.

**Note**: Don’t forget that you’ll get partial matches using the SEARCH function.

### How to use the formula

First, the **SEARCH** function **locates the position of the search string when found**. If the cell does not contain specific text, the result is #VALUE! Error.

The **ISNUMBER** function helps us to get the proper numeric position. Let’s see the two possible cases:

**ISNUMBER returns:**

**TRUE**for numbers**FALSE**for other cell types

If the cell contains specific text, the SEARCH function locates the given substring, then returns the proper position as a value (number). **In this case, the ISNUMBER gets a TRUE result.**

Otherwise – **if the cell does not contain specific text** – SEARCH returns a #VALUE! Error, therefore, the **ISNUMBER returns FALSE**.

### Case-sensitive formula using the FIND function

If you use a simple **IF** function, the result is **TRUE or FALSE**.

`=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(substring,text)))`

Add a third function to the formula to create a more user-friendly output when a cell contains specific text.

```
=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(substring,text)), "Found", "Not found")
=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(D3,B3)), "Found", "Not found")
```

Instead of returning TRUE or FALSE, the formula above will return a more friendly output. The result is “Found” if a substring is found elsewhere, “Not found“.

## How to highlight a row that contains specific text

If you want to highlight cells in a range that contain specific text, the fastest way is to **use conditional formatting**.

Steps to highlighting the matching cells:

**Select the range which contains text**- Go to the
**Home tab and click Conditional formatting** - Choose “
**Highlight Cells Rules**” > “**Text that contains….**” Option **Choose your preferred formatting style and click OK**

The result is the same as the examples mentioned above.

**Related formulas and functions:**

**Split text string**at specific character**How to add a comma in Excel**