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Strings.InStr Method (String, String, CompareMethod)

Returns an integer specifying the start position of the first occurrence of one string within another.

Namespace:  Microsoft.VisualBasic
Assembly:  Microsoft.VisualBasic (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

public static int InStr(
	string String1,
	string String2,
	CompareMethod Compare


Type: System.String

Required. String expression being searched.

Type: System.String

Required. String expression sought.

Type: Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompareMethod

Optional. Specifies the type of string comparison. If Compare is omitted, the Option Compare setting determines the type of comparison.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32
If String1 is zero length or Nothing, InStr returns 0. If String2 is zero length or Nothing, InStr returns start. If String2 is not found, InStr returns 0. If String2 is found within String1, InStr returns position where match begins. If Start > String2, InStr returns 0.

For more detailed information, see the Visual Basic topic InStr Function (Visual Basic).

Typically, the InStr function is used when parsing strings.


The InStrB function in previous versions of Visual Basic returns a number of bytes rather than a character position. It is used primarily for converting strings in double-byte character set (DBCS) applications. All Visual Basic 2005 strings are in Unicode, and InStrB is no longer supported.

The Compare argument settings are:






Performs a binary comparison



Performs a text comparison

This example uses the InStr function to return the position of the first occurrence of one string within another.

' String to search in. 
Dim SearchString As String = "XXpXXpXXPXXP" 
' Search for "P". 
Dim SearchChar As String = "P" 

Dim TestPos As Integer 
' A textual comparison starting at position 4. Returns 6.
TestPos = InStr(4, SearchString, SearchChar, CompareMethod.Text)

' A binary comparison starting at position 1. Returns 9.
TestPos = InStr(1, SearchString, SearchChar, CompareMethod.Binary)

' If Option Compare is not set, or set to Binary, return 9. 
' If Option Compare is set to Text, returns 3.
TestPos = InStr(SearchString, SearchChar)

' Returns 0.
TestPos = InStr(1, SearchString, "W")

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0