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Using search in OpenOffice Calc

Our expert tells you how to use search to find strings in OpenOffice.org's Calc.

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I am trying to use the function"=SEARCH(F1916;"#";1)" in OpenOffice Calc, but it returns an error #Value to search for the occurrence of # in a string. This error is not defined in Help. What does it mean? How can I fix this?

The SEARCH function returns the position of a string within another string. For instance, searching for 54 within the string 123454678 returns the position 5 since 54 starts at the fifth position. FIND returns the same information. You can't search for the target within a range of cells. Also, the return value is simply the place within the search target where the searched-for item is found.The syntax for both is within the online help.

From what I can tell, #Value means that the thing you're searching for was not found in the location it was told to search. To search for # within a cell E8 and return the position at which it starts, the syntax would be
=SEARCH("#";E8)

This was first published in October 2007

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