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How to check or find if cell contains specific string/text/word in Excel?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2017-03-24

If there are a number of cells in a range, and you need to check if there are cells containing specific text or string, how will you deal with it? And what if finding if cells containing specific text/string in the range? In this article, I will introduce several methods to get them done in Excel.

Find if cell contains specific text with Find and Replace command

Find if cell contains specific text with Filter command

Find if cell contains specific text with Kutools for Excel

Find and count a text string in a cell/column in Excel

Kutools for Excel collects some commonly-used formulas for easily applying and relieves us from remembering complex formulas. Its Count times a word appears formula can find a string in a cell/column and return the number of occurrences.

ad count times a word appear 1


Maybe the most common way to find cells is with the Find and Replace command.

Step 1: Select the range you will find if cells contain specific text.

Step 2: Click the Home > Find & Select > Find, or just press the Ctrl + F keys in a meanwhile.

Step 3: In the coming Find and Replace dialog box, enter the specific text into the Find what box, and click the Find All button.

Then you will find out cells which contain the specific text in the searching results at the bottom of Find and Replace dialog box.


If your data is in a list, you can find out the cells with specific text with the Filter command in Excel.

Step 1: Select the column where you will find if cells contain specific text.

Step 2: Click the Data > Filter.

doc check find special text 5

Step 3: Then click the arrow at the right side of first cell of selected column, and then click the Text Filters > Contains in the drop down list.

Step 4: In the opening Custom AutoFilter dialog box, enter the specific text into the box behind the contains box, and click the OK button.

Then all cells containing specific text are filtered out immediately.

Note: This method work well if your data is in one column.


If you have Kutools for Excel installed, you can apply its Select Specific Cells feature to find if cells contains specific text easily in Excel.

Kutools for Excel - Packed with over 300 essential tools for Excel. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Download now!

Step 1: Select the range you will find if cells contain specific text.

Step 2: Click the Kutools > Select Tools > Select Specific Cells.

doc check find special text 01

Step 3: In the popping up Select Specific Cells dialog box (see screenshot above),

(1) Check the Cell option in the Selection type section,

(2) In the Specific type section click the first box and select Contains from the drop down list, then enter the specific text into the second box;

(3) Click the Ok button.

Now a dialog box comes out and tells you how many cells are found and will be selected. Just click the OK button to exit it.

At present all cells containing specific text are selected in the selected range.

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