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

Single Instance of Word

Here's a nifty macro that allows you to limit how many instances of Word 97 are open at the same time.

Discover More

Printer Name on the Status Bar

The status bar is a great place to display all sorts of information. It might not be the best place to put the name of the ...

Discover More

Finding the Sum of a Sequential Integer Range

In mathematics, the sum of a range of sequential integers, starting with 1, is known as a triangular number or Gaussian ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Filling Cells

If you need to fill information into a range of cells, one of the fastest ways of doing it is to use the fill handle. This ...

Discover More

Adjusting Border Color

Want to make a particular cell or range of cells stand out? One way to do it is by changing the border color of the cells, as ...

Discover More

Adding a Drawing to Your Spreadsheet

Numbers alone do not define spreadsheets. Google Drive allows you to also add drawings to a spreadsheet, which can be very ...

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 8 - 3?

2014-03-06 05:31:24

JD Murphy

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