Use a screen reader to find and replace data in Excel

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Excel 2016 with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to find and replace text and numbers. Use characters, including wildcards, to search sheets, rows, columns, or entire workbooks.

Notes: 

  1. In a worksheet, select any cell.

  2. In the Find and Replace dialog box, open the appropriate tab.

    • To use the Find tab in the Find and Replace dialog box to find text or numbers, press Ctrl+F.

    • To use the Replace tab in the Find and Replace dialog box to replace text or numbers, press Alt+E, E. If the Find and Replace dialog box is already open, to open the Replace tab, press Alt+P.

  3. In the Find what box, enter the text or numbers that you want to search for. You have several options.

    • Type the text or numbers that you want to search for.

    • Use a wildcard character, 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: Even though they’re wildcard characters, you can still 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 a question mark, enter ~? as your search criteria.

  4. To refine your search, tab to the Options button and press Enter. You can also press Alt+T.

    • To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, tab to the Within combo box (Alt+H), press the Down Arrow key, and then select Sheet or Workbook. Press Enter.

    • To search for data in rows or columns, tab to the Search combo box (Alt+S), press the Down Arrow key, and then select By Rows or By Columns. Press Enter.

    • To search for data with specific details, tab to the Look in combo box (Alt+L), press the Down Arrow key, and then select Formulas, Values, or Comments. Press Enter.

      Tip: 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, tab to the Match case check box (Alt+C) and press Spacebar.

    • To search for cells that contain only the characters that you typed in the Find what box, tab to the Match entire cell contents check box (Alt+O) and press Spacebar.

  5. If you want to search for text or numbers that also have specific formatting, tab to the Format button and press Enter (Alt+M). In the Find Format dialog box which opens, to move to the appropriate tab (Number, Alignment, Font, Border, or Fill) press Spacebar. Then, select the formatting that you want to include in your search. Tab to the OK button, and press Enter.

    Tip: If you want to find cells that only match a specific format, you can delete any text or number criteria in the Find what box and then select a cell that contains that formatting. Tab to the Format button, and press the Down Arrow key. Press the Down Arrow key again until you select Choose Format From Cell, and press Enter. In the worksheet, to select the cell that has the formatting that you want to search for, use the arrow keys. To add the formatting of the selected cell to your search criteria in the Find and Replace dialog box, press Enter.

  6. With your criteria in place, start your search.

    • To find text or numbers, tab to the Find Next (Alt+F) or Find All (Alt+I) button.

      Tip: If you select the Find All button, every occurrence that meets your search criteria is listed in the dialog box, and this list has the focus. To select one of the occurrences in the list, press the Down Arrow key or the Up Arrow key. To move from the dialog box to the worksheet, press Alt+Tab. Make the change you want in the cell. To return to the Find and Replace dialog box, press Alt+Tab as many times as necessary.

    • To replace text or numbers, type the replacement characters in the Replace with box (or, to replace the characters with nothing, leave this box blank), and then tab to the Find (Alt+F) or Find All (Alt+I) button. To find the next occurrence in the worksheet so that you can decide whether to replace it, press the Find button. To find all occurrences, press the Find All button. To replace the highlighted occurrence or all occurrences of the found characters, tab to the Replace (Alt+R) or Replace All (Alt+A) button.

      Tip: If the Replace with box is not available, to move to the Replace tab on the Find and Replace dialog box, press Alt+P.

      If needed, to cancel a search in progress, press Esc. The Find and Replace dialog box closes.

    Note: When you define formatting options as part of your search criteria, this is saved in the Find and Replace dialog box. If you search the worksheet for data again and cannot find characters that you know to be there, you might need to clear the formatting options from the previous search. To open the Find tab in the Find and Replace dialog box, press Ctrl+F. If the Format button is not available, tab to the Options button (Alt+T) and press Enter. Tab to the Format button and, to select the Clear Find Format command, press the Down Arrow key several times. Press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a workbook in Excel 2016

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Excel keyboard shortcuts and function keys for Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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