XL: VB Procedure to Emulate Find Command

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You can create a Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications procedure that emulates the behavior of the Microsoft Excel Find command. To do this, use the Find and FindNext methods in a Visual Basic module.

The code in the "More Information" section of this article allows you to find all occurrences of a search string in the active worksheet without changing the selection or the active cell. When the search text is located, the code displays a message box with the address of the cell that contains the search string. If the search text is not found, a "Search Value Not Found" message box is displayed.

NOTE: You can easily modify this code by replacing the MsgBox statements with the code that you want to run whenever the search text is or is not found.

More information

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.

Sample Visual Basic Procedure

   Sub FindStrings()
       Dim firstCell, nextCell, stringToFind As String
       ' Show an input box and return the entry to a variable.
       stringToFind = _
           Application.InputBox("String to find?", "Search String")
       ' Set an object variable to evaluate the Find command.
       Set firstCell = Cells.Find(what:=stringToFind, lookat:=xlWhole, _
       ' If the string is not found, show this message box.
       If firstCell Is Nothing Then
           MsgBox "Search Value Not Found.", vbExclamation
           ' Otherwise, find the next occurrence of the search text.
           nextCell = _
           ' Show its address in a message box.
           MsgBox nextCell
           ' Continue finding the next occurrence as long as the address of
           ' the found cell is not the same as the first cell.
           Do While firstCell.Address <> nextCell
               nextCell = Cells.FindNext(after:=Range(nextCell)).Address
               MsgBox nextCell
       End If
   End Sub
If the range in which the search text is to be found is in a small portion of the worksheet, use the For...Each control structure instead of the Find method (For...Each requires less code). The advantage to the Find method is

that it is faster than For...Each on large ranges such as an entire worksheet.

If the string that you are searching for is only a portion of the contents of a cell, use the "xlPart" constant for the lookat named argument of the Find method.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
108892 XL: Cells.Find Returns Error When No Match Found


"Visual Basic User's Guide," pages 148-149


Article ID: 124924 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
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