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

Controlling the Format of Cross-References

When you use fields to add cross-references to tables or figures, Word normally takes care of formatting the words used ...

Discover More

Sorting a Text Selection

Word gives you the option to sort selected groups of text. You can do text, date or number sorts on whole paragraphs or ...

Discover More

Easily Dividing Values by 1000

Sometimes the data in a worksheet isn't in the exact format desired. If you want to divide your values by 1,000, there ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Changing the Legend Location

When you create a chart, Sheets helpfully adds a legend to better explain the data that is in the chart. If you don't ...

Discover More

Creating and Saving a Spreadsheet

Before you can work with numbers, dates, and formulas, you need to create your Sheets spreadsheet. You can do so using ...

Discover More

Deleting a Named Range

No longer need a previously defined named range? Here's how to get rid of it.

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 4 + 9?

2014-03-06 05:31:24

JD Murphy

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