Search for multiple text within a cell and return text


Board Regular
Sep 18, 2009
I'm trying to do multiple text searches in a cell and return text if true. If not true then I want the cell to be blank.

For example

Column A is PaymentNotFound12345 and I want the formula in column B to search for "PaymentNot" and return "PaymentNot". However I need to also search for other text examples such as PaymentDone12345 and it to return "Payment" if true and again blank if false. Column A has built items I want to search for and return if true.

Any ideas. I'm trying to use IFS and FIND functions, it only returns the first search.




Well-known Member
Jan 26, 2015
Office Version
So what happens in column B when it finds more than one of the search terms?
do you have a list of these search terms?
does it have to be a formula or does VBA work?


Board Regular
Sep 18, 2009
So column B has a list of terms. Could either have "PaymentNotFound12345, PaymentNotFound23456, PaymentDone12345. These are just examples. I want to search for all of these and return text I mentioned above. There is a large list of searches that I can keep adding to. I am just trying to set up so it will work for more than one.

This is kind of where I was going..


The above has different searches but should give an idea.

Would like it in a formula.


Board Regular
Sep 18, 2009
The formula above is obviously searching for shortpay and carton instead and trying to return that if either is present in the cell N23.

Eric W

MrExcel MVP
Aug 18, 2015
Try this:

<b></b><table cellpadding="2.5px" rules="all" style=";background-color: rgb(255,255,255);border: 1px solid;border-collapse: collapse; border-color: rgb(187,187,187)"><colgroup><col width="25px" style="background-color: rgb(218,231,245)" /><col /><col /><col /><col /><col /></colgroup><thead><tr style=" background-color: rgb(218,231,245);text-align: center;color: rgb(22,17,32)"><th></th><th>A</th><th>B</th><th>C</th><th>D</th><th>E</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">1</td><td style=";">Text</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">Look for</td><td style=";">Return</td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">2</td><td style=";">PaymentNotFound12345</td><td style=";">PaymentNot</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">PaymentNot</td><td style=";">PaymentNot</td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">3</td><td style=";">PaymentDone12345</td><td style=";">Payment</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">PaymentDone</td><td style=";">Payment</td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">4</td><td style=";">The big carton is red</td><td style=";">Carton</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">ShortPay</td><td style=";">Not enough</td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">5</td><td style=";">AShortPay9999</td><td style=";">Not enough</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">Carton</td><td style=";">Carton</td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">6</td><td style=";">Something else</td><td style=";"></td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">xxx</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">7</td><td style=";">CartonPaymentDone</td><td style=";">Carton</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">xxx</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td></tr><tr ><td style="color: rgb(22,17,32);text-align: center;">8</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";"></td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td><td style=";">xxx</td><td style="text-align: right;;"></td></tr></tbody></table><p style="width:4.8em;font-weight:bold;margin:0;padding:0.2em 0.6em 0.2em 0.5em;border: 1px solid rgb(187,187,187);border-top:none;text-align: center;background-color: rgb(218,231,245);color: rgb(22,17,32)">Sheet8</p><br /><br /><table width="85%" cellpadding="2.5px" rules="all" style=";border: 2px solid black;border-collapse:collapse;padding: 0.4em;background-color: rgb(255,255,255)" ><tr><td style="padding:6px" ><b>Worksheet Formulas</b><table cellpadding="2.5px" width="100%" rules="all" style="border: 1px solid;text-align:center;background-color: rgb(255,255,255);border-collapse: collapse; border-color: rgb(187,187,187)"><thead><tr style=" background-color: rgb(218,231,245);color: rgb(22,17,32)"><th width="10px">Cell</th><th style="text-align:left;padding-left:5px;">Formula</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><th width="10px" style=" background-color: rgb(218,231,245);color: rgb(22,17,32)">B2</th><td style="text-align:left">=IFERROR(<font color="Blue">LOOKUP(<font color="Red">2^16,SEARCH(<font color="Green">$D$2:$D$8,A2</font>),$E$2:$E$8</font>),""</font>)</td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></table><br />

If you want to make the table in D2:E8 bigger so that you can just add some new terms later, you need to put XXX in the empty rows, otherwise it doesn't work right. Also look at row 7. As Blake mentioned, what do you want to do if there's more than 1 match? Here you get the last match from the list. If you want all of the matches, via a formula, you'd need TEXTJOIN.

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