Updated January 2023
Excel comes with a handy feature that users frequently forget about or don’t know where it is. So, how do you find and replace in Excel, and what does the function do?
Find and Replace in Excel allows you to quickly bring up values and make any necessary changes during editing. Instead of scrolling through large google sheets, the function brings up the column or cells you want to work on.
Not familiar with Find and Replace in Excel, here’s everything you need to know about the function.
Where Is Find and Replace in Excel
One of the reasons users have trouble locating Find and Replace in Excel and Google sheets is the lack of a tab on the toolbar. Instead, you can go into Home or enter a command.
If you want to know how to find and replace in Excel Mac, the steps are the same as the ones you use for a Windows operating system.
- Click on Home, and then choose Find & Select, and then Replace.
- Press down on the Control + H keys simultaneously.
It’s simple to locate the function, and it’s just as easy to use.
How To Use Find and Replace in Excel
If you want to know how to do a find and replace in Excel, you need to follow a few simple steps.
How To Find
When you want to find something in an Excel sheet, you can either
- Press down simultaneously on the Control + F keys
- Go into Home, click on Editing, then Find & Select, and finally choose Find
A box will pop up on the screen. Enter the numbers or text you are searching for and click on the arrow. The next step is to select the item from the search list.
After selecting the item to search for, select the Find All or Find Next option. The column or text will appear.
Excel will also find and replace special characters. You can use an asterisk, question mark, or tilde in place of standard characters. These are known as wildcard characters. For example, typing in a question mark between s?t will find text that includes the words sat and set.
Find and replace in Google sheets comes with a few advanced options that let you refine your search.
Excel Find and Replace in columns makes it easy to find the exact row you are looking for. You can Find and Replace formulas in Excel by rows or columns.
- Go into the Options settings. From there, you can
- Search within the Google sheet or Workbook for data by rows or columns
- Look for specific details by selecting the tab for Formulas, Values, Comments, or Notes
- Search for case-sensitive data
- Find cells containing the information you entered into the Find box
How To Replace
Now that you know how to use Find in Excel, it’s time to use the Replace function. It’s a handy editing tool to have, and it helps ensure your data is always accurate.
You can either manually enter the command Control + H or select the Home tab, then Editing, Find & Select, and click on Replace.
From there, you follow the simple steps.
- A dialogue box will appear. Type in the content you want to find, click on the arrow, and choose an item from the list.
- In the Replace With field, type in the text or numbers you are replacing in the original content.
- Select Replace or Replace All. The label can vary depending on the operating system, but both functions work the same.
The Replace function also comes with advanced options, similar to using Find.
Select the Options tab when you need to refine your search. You can do almost the same functions as you can in Find, except for locating comments. It is only available in Find, but you can only find and edit formulas in the Replace function. It’s something to remember if you are searching for and replacing comments and formulas.
A helpful tip to remember, the Format function allows you to find specific numbers and text based on their formatting. It can shorten the amount of time you spend looking through long Google sheets.
- Delete the current search criteria in the Find dialogue box
- Select the cell formatting to use as a search example
- Tap on the arrow. It’s next to Format
- Select Choose Format From Cell
- Choose the cell with the formatting you are searching for
How To Use Wildcard Characters in Find & Replace
Excel find and replace special characters are convenient and easy to use. Wildcard characters allow you to find partial matches to your searches.
The Find and Replace feature accepts two characters, the question mark and the asterisk. You use the question mark when you want to find a single letter or number. For example, if you type Al?n in the Find box, the search results may look like Alan, Alen, and Alun.
Using the asterisk symbol allows you to replace specific characters. If you enter y*, the search results can include yes, yeah, yay, and yesss.
How To Change Formatting in Find & Replace
Sometimes you need to replace the formatting of values, and the advanced options feature makes it a breeze.
Find the cells you want to replace or click on any column to search the entire Excel sheet. The next step is to go into Home and choose Find & Select, and then Replace. The dialogue box will open. Go ahead and click on Options.
You only need to type in the numbers or text you are searching for if prompted. Usually, you can skip the step and click on the Format tabs. Two Format tabs correspond with Find
What and Replace With, select the function you want to use.
The last step is to select the Replace All option, and the formatting is changed.
You now know how to Find and Replace in Google sheets, and the function is quick and easy to use. You also don’t need to ask where is find and replace in Google sheets; you know to go to Home settings.
Being able to use the convenient function shortens the amount of time you spend editing, so you can get back to other pressing tasks.
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