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(Archives) Microsoft Excel 2007: Using the Find and Replace Features

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This article is based on legacy software.

The Find and Replace features are time-saving techniques that allow you to rapidly change the content of your worksheets. Excel's Find and Replace function will search your documents for specific text, which can then be highlighted, replaced with different text or formatting, or left as-is. This function provides many advanced options to help make your search as specific as necessary to find what you are looking for.

Using the Find Feature

The Find feature can be helpful if you are trying to locate information not currently visible on the screen. You can search for information used in formulas, values, and comments.

Finding Information

  1. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  2. In the Editing group, click Find & Select find and select » select Find...
    The Find and Replace dialog box appears, with the Find tab selected.
    find and replace

  3. In the Find what text box, type the text or data to be found.

  4. (Optional) Adjust the searching options.

  5. Click Find Next.
    The information is found and selected.
    NOTES:
    Clicking Find Next again finds subsequent occurrences of the information in the document.
    If Excel cannot find the information you are looking for, a message to that effect will be displayed.

  6. (Optional) To see the each location that this text or data is located, click Find All.
    A pane opens below the Find and Replace dialog box with a list of each location.

  7. To close the dialog box, click Close.

Searching Options

If you would like to narrow your search to find more specific results, you can limit your results by using the available search options.

  1. From the Find and Replace dialog box, click Options >>
    Additional options appear in the Find and Replace dialog box.
    find and replace

    Option Description
    Format... Match content with specific formatting.
    Within Specify the search area (i.e., worksheet or workbook).
    Search Control the order of the search: left to right (columns) or top to bottom (rows).
    Look In Limit the search to type of content: values, formulas, comments.
    Match case Limit search results to instances of the text or data that have the same case (i.e., uppercase or lowercase) as the text in the Find what text box.
    EXAMPLE: Spring instead of spring.
    Match entire cell contents Limit search results to cells where an exact match occurs.
    EXAMPLE: Smith will locate Smith but not Chris Smith.

Using the Replace Feature

The Replace feature is useful when you want to change the same piece of information throughout your worksheet.

WARNING: Use the Replace All option with caution. If you do not first select specific cells to change, this option will replace the specified information throughout the entire document. This can change the meaning of your document if text is replaced where it should not be.

  1. (Optional) If you want to find and/or replace information in a specific section of your document, select the desired portion of the document.
    HINTS:
    To select contiguous cells, click the desired cells
    To select non-contiguous cells, hold down [Ctrl] + click the desired cell(s)

  2. In the Editing group, click Find & Select find and select » select Replace...
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [H].
    The Find and Replace dialog box appears.
    find and replace

  3. In the Find what text box, type the text or data to be found.

  4. In the Replace with text box, type the text or data to replace the information found.

  5. (Optional) Adjust the searching options.

  6. Click Find Next.
    The first occurrence is highlighted.

  7. To replace only that occurrence, click Replace.
    To replace all occurrences, click Replace All.
    The old information is replaced with the new.
    WARNING: Use the Replace All option with caution. If you do not first select specific cells to change, this option will replace the specified information throughout the entire document. This can change the meaning of your document if text is replaced where it should not be.

  8. To find and replace additional instances of your text or data, repeat steps 6–7.

  9. To close the dialog box, click Close.

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