Advertisements

Find or replace text and numbers on a worksheet

Applies To: Excel for Office 365, Excel for Office 365 for Mac, Excel for the web, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel Starter 2010.

Use the Find and Replace features in Excel to search for something in your workbook, such as a particular number or text string. You can either locate the search item for reference, or you can replace it with something else. You can also find cells that have a particular format applied.

Windows:

Find

To find text or numbers, press Ctrl+F, or go to Home > Editing > Find & Select > Find.

Important Note:

Note: In the following example, we’ve clicked the Options >> button to show the entire Find dialogue. By default, it will display with Options hidden.

Press Ctrl+F to launch the Find dialog
  1. In the Find what box, type the text or numbers you want to search for, or click the arrow in the Find what box, and then select a recent search item from the list.

Wildcard Characters

Tips: You can use wildcard characters, such as an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?), in your search criteria:

  • Use the question mark to find any single character. For example, s?t finds “sat” and “set”.
  • Use the asterisk to find any string of characters. For example, s*d finds “sad” and “started”.
  • Use the tilde (~) followed by ?, *, or ~ to find question marks, asterisks, or other tilde characters  — for example, fy91~? finds “fy91?”.
  1. Click Find All or Find Next to run your search.

Tip #1

Tip: When you click Find All, every occurrence of the criteria that you are searching for will be listed, and clicking a specific occurrence in the list will select its cell. You can sort the results of a Find All search by clicking a column heading.

  1. Click Options to further define your search if needed:

Within

Within: To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, in the Within box, select Sheet or Workbook.

Search

Search: To search for data in rows or columns, in the Search box, click By Rows or By Columns.

Look in

Look in: To search for data with specific details, in the Look in box, click Formulas, Values, Notes, or Comments.

Key Note

Note: Formulas, Values, Notes and Comments are only available on the Find tab; only Formulas are available on the Replace tab.

  • Match case: To search for case-sensitive data, select the Match case check box.
  • Match entire cell contents: To search for cells that contain just the characters that you typed in the Find what box, select the Match entire cell contents check box.
  1. If you want to search for text or numbers with specific formatting, click Format, and then make your selections in the Find Format dialogue box.

Tip #2

Tip: If you want to find cells that just match a specific format, you can delete any criteria in the Find what box, and then select a specific cell format as an example. Click the arrow next to Format, click Choose Format From Cell, and then click the cell that has the formatting that you want to search for.

Replace

To replace text or numbers, press Ctrl+H, or go to Home > Editing > Find & Select > Replace.

Vital Note

Note: In the following example, we’ve clicked the Options >> button to show the entire Find dialogue. By default, it will display with Options hidden.

Press Ctrl+H to launch the Replace dialog.
  1. In the Find what box, type the text or numbers you want to search for, or click the arrow in the Find what box, and then select a recent search item from the list. You can use wildcard characters, such as an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?), in your search criteria:

Tips: You can use wildcard characters — question mark (?), asterisk (*), tilde (~) — in your search criteria.

  • Use the question mark to find any single character. For example, s?t finds “sat” and “set”.
  • Use the asterisk to find any string of characters. For example, s*d finds “sad” and “started”.
  • Use the tilde (~) followed by ?, *, or ~ to find question marks, asterisks, or other tilde characters  — for example, fy91~? finds “fy91?”.
  • In the Replace with box, enter the text or numbers you want to use to replace the search text.
  1. Click Replace All or Replace.

Tip: When you click Replace All, every occurrence of the criteria that you are searching for will be replaced, while Replace will update one occurrence at a time.

  1. Click Options to further define your search if needed:

Within: To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, in the Within box, select Sheet or Workbook.

Search: To search for data in rows or columns, in the Search box, click By Rows or By Columns.

Look in: To search for data with specific details, in the Look in box, click Formulas, Values, Notes, or Comments.

Note: Formulas, Values, Notes and Comments are only available on the Find tab; only Formulas are available on the Replace tab.

Match case: To search for case-sensitive data, select the Match case check box.

Match entire cell contents: To search for cells that contain just the characters that you typed in the Find what box, select the Match entire cell contents check box.

  1. If you want to search for text or numbers with specific formatting, click Format, and then make your selections in the Find Format dialog box.

Tip: If you want to find cells that just match a specific format, you can delete any criteria in the Find what box, and then select a specific cell format as an example. Click the arrow next to Format, click Choose Format From Cell, and then click the cell that has the formatting that you want to search for.

Tips

  • Excel saves the formatting options you define. If you search the worksheet for data again and cannot find characters you know to be there, you may need to clear the formatting options from the previous search. In the Find and Replace dialogue box, click the Find tab, and then click Options to display the formatting options. Click the arrow next to Format, and then click Clear Find Format.
  • You can also use the SEARCH and FIND functions to find text or numbers on a worksheet.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: