Find or replace text and numbers on a worksheet in Excel 2016 for Windows

Find and replace text and numbers using wildcards or other characters. You can search sheets, rows, columns, or workbooks.

  1. In a worksheet, click any cell.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select.

    Excel  Ribbon Image

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To find text or numbers, click Find.

    • To find and replace text or numbers, click Replace.

  4. In the Find what box, type the text or numbers that you want to search for, or click the arrow in the Find what box, and then click a recent search in the list.

    You can use wildcard characters, such as an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?), in your search criteria:

    • Use the asterisk to find any string of characters. For example, s*d finds "sad" and "started".

    • Use the question mark to find any single character. For example, s?t finds "sat" and "set".

      Tip: You can find asterisks, question marks, and tilde characters (~) in worksheet data by preceding them with a tilde character in the Find what box. For example, to find data that contains "?", use ~? as your search criteria.

  5. Click Options to further define your search, and then do any of the following:

    • To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, in the Within box, click Sheet or Workbook.

    • To search for data in rows or columns, in the Search box, click By Rows or By Columns.

    • To search for data with specific details, in the Look in box, click Formulas, Values, or Comments.

      Note:  The Formulas, Values and Comments options are only available on the Find tab, and only Formulas is available on the Replace tab.

    • To search for case-sensitive data, select the Match case check box.

    • To search for cells that contain just the characters you typed in the Find what box, select the Match entire cell contents check box.

  6. If you want to search for text or numbers that also have specific formatting, click Format, and then make your selections in the Find Format dialog box.

    Tip: If you want to find cells that just match a specific format, you can delete any criteria in the Find what box, and then select a cell that contains the formatting you want to find. Click the arrow next to Format, click Choose Format From Cell, and then click the cell that has the formatting that you want to search for.

  7. Do one of the following:

    • To find text or numbers, click Find All or Find Next.

      Tip: When you click Find All, every occurrence of the criteria that you are searching for will be listed and you can go to a cell by clicking it in the list. You can sort the results of a Find All search by clicking a column heading.

    • To replace text or numbers, type the replacement characters in the Replace with box (or leave this box blank to replace the characters with nothing), and then click Find or Find All.

      Note: If the Replace with box is not available, click the Replace tab.

      If needed, you can cancel a search in progress by pressing ESC.

  8. To replace the highlighted occurrence or all occurrences of the found characters, click Replace or Replace All.

    Tip:  Microsoft Excel saves the formatting options that you define. If you search the worksheet for data again and cannot find characters that you know to be there, you may need to clear the formatting options from the previous search. In the Find and Replace dialog box, click the Find tab, and then click Options to display the formatting options. Click the arrow next to Format, and then click Clear Find Format.

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