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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

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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.


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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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ellie Burns · 7 months ago
    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?
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    Colby · 8 months ago
    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$368,5,FALSE),"") where A3 is the beginning of my numbered cells on the Search & Results sheet and the search is taking place throughout cells A4:C368 on the Index sheet.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Don · 6 months ago
      I have the same problem. Did you get an answer?
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    alicia · 9 months ago
    What if the data will continue to increase, new data is entered everyday? So I want the search to not only search the information in specific columns currently but all the new rows that will be added to those columns later.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 9 months ago
      Hi alicia.
      Sorry can't help with that. You need to manually update the formula references after new rows has been added to columns.
      Thanks for your comments.
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        doops · 1 days ago
        me too... Is there any help you can offer?
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    Carlos Solrac · 1 years ago
    how can I add worksheet as a another search area?
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    edd · 1 years ago
    how to add another worksheet as a area for data search
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 1 years ago
      Good Day,
      For searching data in another worksheet (such as Sheet5), please change the formula in the conditional formatting method to =(SEARCH(Sheet5!$B$2,A5)).
      Sorry can't solve the problem with the above second method.