Using Find and Replace in a Spreadsheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 6, 2014)

1

Spreadsheets can hold quite a bit of information. In fact, over time any given spreadsheet may become a catchall for all sorts of data. Over time, finding the information you know you placed in the spreadsheet can seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

That's where the Find and Replace tool comes in handy. To use the tool, choose Find and Replace from the Edit menu. Sheets displays the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Find and Replace dialog box.

The two primary controls in the dialog are the Find and Replace With boxes. They are pretty self-explanatory, but all you need to do is enter what you want to search for in the Find box and what you want to replace it with in the Replace With box. (If you don't really want to do replacing at this point or if you want to delete what you are finding, leave the Replace With box empty.)

If uppercase and lowercase letters matter in what you entered, select the Match Case check box. The Match Entire Cell Contents check box is important as it indicates whether you want to search only for entire cells or search within cells. There is also a check box to indicate whether Sheets should look in only the current sheet or in all sheets. (Understand—the Search All Sheets check box controls whether searching is done on all sheets in the open spreadsheet, not whether other spreadsheets in Drive are searched.)

When you are ready to begin looking, click the Find button. As Find and Replace locates matches, it displays them. You can then choose to replace them or skip that instance and move to the next. The Replace All button allows you to replace all instances of what you are looking for in a single operation.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Starting a Discussion

Tips for getting your Discussion started.

Discover More

Reliable Conversion to WordPerfect

If you have documents that you need to save in WordPerfect format, you might experience some frustration in making the ...

Discover More

Determining an Integer Value

One of the math functions you can use in your macros is the Int function. It provides a way for you to derive an integer ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Inserting Rows

As you are developing a spreadsheet, you'll often have the need to insert additional rows into your data. Sheets makes ...

Discover More

Easy Translations

If you work in an international environment, you may have a need to translate text from one language to another. Sheets ...

Discover More

Adding Borders

Adding borders to a cell (or range of cells) is a common way to draw attention to the cell contents. Sheets provides a ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 8?

2014-03-06 05:31:24

JD Murphy

Find and Replace deletes formatting - italics - bold etc. CAREFUL!!!
Any way of avoiding this?
JD