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Find & Replace in Excel

How to Use Find and Replace in Excel

Occasionally, you'll have a word or number you need to find somewhere in your spreadsheet, but you're not sure where it is. Excel’s Find and Replace commands scan a worksheet for labels and values with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Find Text

The Find feature makes it very easy to find specific words and values in a worksheet.

  1. Click the Find & Select button on the Home tab.
  2. Select Find.
    Find Text

    Press Ctrl + F.

    The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box appears.

  3. Type the text you want to find in the Find what box.
  4. Click Find Next.

    Excel jumps to the first occurrence of the word, phrase, or value that you entered.

  5. Click the Find Next button again to move on to other occurrences.

    Click Find All to find the cell location of all instances at once.

  6. Click Close when you're finished.
    Find Text

Replace Text

Now, if you have a word that appears throughout a spreadsheet and needs to be updated, don't update it cell by cell, use Replace instead.

  1. Click the Find & Select button on the Home tab.
  2. Select Replace.
    Replace Text

    Press Ctrl + H.

    The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box appears.

  3. Type the text you want to replace in the Find what box.
  4. Type the replacement text in the Replace with box.
  5. Click the Find Next button.
    Replace Text

    The first instance is selected.

  6. Click any of the following:
    • Replace All: Replace every occurrence of the item.
    • Replace: Replace the selected item.
    • Find All: Find all instances of the item.
    • Find Next: Find the next instance of the item.
  7. Click Close when you're finished.
    Replace Text

Advanced Find and Replace

You can use Excel’s search options to change how Excel searches the workbook.

  1. Click the Find & Select button.
  2. Select Find or Replace.
  3. Click the Options button.
    Replace Text

    Additional options appear, as described in following table.

  4. Complete the search / replace as you normally would.
  5. Select the desired advanced Find and Replace options.
    Replace Text

Advanced Find and Replace Options

Find Option Description
Within Choose whether to search within just the current sheet or the entire workbook.
Search Search by rows (left to right, then top to bottom) or columns (top to bottom, then left to right).
Look in Specify which kinds of data to search in, such as formulas, values, or comments.
Match case Searches exactly as text is typed in the text box.
Match entire cell contents Searches only for cells that match the contents in the text box entirely. Parts of phrases or words are not included.
Format Searches for and replaces text, including character and paragraph formats, special characters, document elements, styles, and highlighting.

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