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How to create your own search box in Excel?

Except using the Find function in Excel, actually you can create your own search box for searching needed values easily. This article will show you two methods to create your own search box in Excel in details.

Create your own search box with Conditional Formatting to highlight all searched results
Create your own search box with formulas to list all searched results


Create your own search box with Conditional Formatting to highlight all searched results

You can do as follows to create your own search box by using the Conditional Formatting function in Excel.

1. Select the range with data you need to search by the search box, then click Conditional Formatting > New Rule under the Home tab. See screenshot:

2. In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, you need to:

2.1) Select Use a formula to determine which cells to format option in the Select a Rule Type box;

2.2) Enter formula =ISNUMBER(SEARCH($B$2,A5)) into the Format values where this formula is true box;

2.3) Click the Format button to specify a highlighted color for the searched value;

2.4) Click the OK button.

Notes:

1. In the formula, $B$2 is a blank cell you need to use it as a search box, and A5 is the first cell of your selected range you need to search values within. Please change them as you need.

2. The formula is not case-sensitive.

Now the search box is created, when typing search criteria into the search box B2 and press the Enter key, all matched values in the specified range are searched out and highlighted immediately as below screenshot shown.


Create your own search box with formulas to list all searched results

Supposing you have a data list locating in range E4:E23 which you need to search, if you want to list all matched values in another column after searching with your own search box, you can try the below method.

1. Select a blank cell which is adjacent to cell E4, here I select cell D4, then enter formula =IFERROR(SEARCH($B$2,E4)+ROW()/100000,"") into the formula bar, and then press the Enter key. See screenshot:

Note: In the formula, $B$2 is the cell you need to use it as a search box, E4 is the first cell of the data list you need to search. You can change them as you need.

2. Keep selecting cell E4, then drag the Fill Handle down to cell D23. See screenshot:

3. Now select cell C4, enter formula =IFERROR(RANK(D4,$D$4:$D$23,1),"") into the Formula Bar, and press the Enter key. Select cell C4, then drag the Fill Handle down to C23. See screenshot:

4. Now you need to fill range A4:A23 with series number which increase by 1 from 1 to 20 as below screenshot:

5. Select a blank cell you need to display the searched result, enter formula =IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A4,$C$4:$E$23,3,FALSE),"") into the Formula Bar and press the Enter key. Keep selecting cell B4, drag the Fill Handle down to B23 as below screenshot shown.

From now on, when entering data in searching box B2, all matched values will be listed in range B4:B23 as below screenshot shown.

Note: this method is not case-sensitive.


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Comments (28)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you so much for your help. This is so easy and simple to create.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
my data is used by office members.so i want to protect data loss by password.if i try to enable password search bar also not working .what can i do to safe gard data and made it searchable
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Good Day,
Please format the cell you need to specify as a search box as Unlocked before protecting the worksheet with password. Then your data is protected but searchable.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
how to add another worksheet as a area for data search
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Good Day,
For searching data in another worksheet (such as Sheet5), please change the formula in the conditional formatting method to =(SEARCH(Sheet5!$B$2,A5)).
Sorry can't solve the problem with the above second method.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
If you have data from several sheets, you might want to compile all that data in to one sheet to make things less complicated. For example, Sheet1, Sheet2 and Sheet3 all have data you want to "Search", on "Sheet4" you can in Column A on Sheet4 say "=If(Sheet1!A1="","",Sheet1!A1) and drag that formula down how ever many rows you wish to fill (let's just say 40 Rows down). Still in Column A on Sheet4 you would enter on Cell A41 "=if(Sheet2!A1="","",Sheet2!A1), etc and drag that down, repeat until everything is complete. Then use the formula above and it searches all sheets.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
how can I add worksheet as a another search area?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
What if the data will continue to increase, new data is entered everyday? So I want the search to not only search the information in specific columns currently but all the new rows that will be added to those columns later.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi alicia.
Sorry can't help with that. You need to manually update the formula references after new rows has been added to columns.
Thanks for your comments.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
me too... Is there any help you can offer?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
You can select the range all the way to the bottom so when you enter new data - it will take the new data into consideration when doing the search.

For example: =$A$3:$U$1048576 (even though my actual entered data is up till row 74)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
^yeah another way is create a table. 
You can check from "Manage rules" > "Applies to" The conditional formatting rule will automatically extend when new data are added into the table..
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
After entering the formula =ISNUMBER(SEARCH($B$1,A4)) for conditional formatting, if the cell I used for the search function is blank, all the cells that are searched (A4:C368) are highlighted. But once a string is entered for the search criteria the cells containing the search criteria are highlighted correctly. Is there a way to tweak the formula to not highlight until search criteria is entered? Or did I do something wrong?

Also, using the formula in step 5 on another sheet within the workbook isn't working. What I'm trying to do is perform a search and show results of that search on one sheet named Search & Results while having the information to be searched on a sheet named Index. The formula I'm using is =IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A3,Index!$A$4:$C$368,5,FALSE),"") where A3 is the beginning of my numbered cells on the Search & Results sheet and the search is taking place throughout cells A4:C368 on the Index sheet.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have the same problem. Did you get an answer?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
also me. i have the same problem
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Colby. Your vlookup formula=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A3,Index!$A$4:$C$368,5,FALSE),"") refers to range from A4 to C368 in Sheet name index which have only 3 column but you are entering 5 right after $C$368 which tells the vlookup formula to display value of column 5 which does not exists in your selected range. Fix this and I believe that your problem will be solved.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
same had been having the same issue with the formula,try this in your conditional formatting rule "=AND($I$1<>"",ISNUMBER(SEARCH($I$1,$B4)))", it works for me
I1 is my search box, B4 is first cell of selected range
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i followed the resulted search method and it worked perfectly however the results are hyperlinked and it shows me the result without the hyperlink is there a way i can make it show me the result with the link connection?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, I am using to search between my vendors (one column) and brands (another column). With this setup, there are brands (like Microsoft) that can have more vendors (vendor A, vendor B, vendor C,...). I would like to search for the brand (microsoft) name and would like to see all possible vendors (A, B & C as well). But now the result is only the first vendor and that's all. How can I change/fix that?

Many thanks!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Tomas,
Maybe you can rearrange your data and create a dynamic drop down list to solve the problem. You can browse the below article for more details.
https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/1350-excel-create-dynamic-drop-down-list.html
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi! Is this applicable to Google Sheets? I'm trying to make a search box with formulas to list all searched results. I followed every steps listed above but the results shows nothing. There is an error tho, it says "change Iterative calculation". But whatever I do, it doesn't show anything - just blank. Can you help me with this, please... Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi! Is this applicable to Google Sheets? I'm trying to make a search box with formulas to list all searched results. I followed every steps listed above but the results shows nothing. There is an error tho, it says "change Iterative calculation". But whatever I do, it doesn't show anything - just blank. Can you help me with this, please... Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Good day,
This is only applicable to Microsoft Excel application. Sorry for the inconvenience.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
hi! I used the basic highlight search bar, but am having a couple of issues. it is predicting my search and finding it with no issues... however, it always highlights the cell a couple below or above the searched one. Are you able to help me with this please?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Can you create a formula that captures two cells worth of information in retrospect i am using a set up that captures user names and badge data so i need it to when it filters that it carries both cells of information not just one
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i have tried using this but is dose not wont to highlight the box I am searching for why is this
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, for the second part: "Create Your Own Search Box With Formulas To List All Searched Results", it doesn't say what to do with the search box, my search box has no formula in it. I am trying to do it with multiple columns as well, does it work too?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
me pueden apoyar en cual es la formula para solo buscar
porfa
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