Find text, numbers, or dates in Excel Services

You can search for specific text, number, and date values by using Find Button image on the Microsoft Office Excel Web Access toolbar. Find searches row-by-row from the top of the active worksheet of the view in the direction that you specify, finds the first cell that contains the text, number, or date that you are looking for, and then highlights it. A text match is case-insensitive ("Revenue" is the same as "REVENUE") and any match is determined by matching the partial, and not necessarily the entire, contents of a cell.

Find searches by the displayed cell value and not by the underlying cell value. For example, a cell may display ($123.45) to indicate a negative accounting number but the underlying value in the cell is -123.45. To find this cell, you must enter ($123.45).


  • You cannot find and then replace values, or search by specific columns.

  • Find searches the workbook that is loaded in the Excel Web Access Web Part, whereas the Find (on this page) command on the Edit menu in Internet Explorer searches the information outside the Excel Web Access Web Part but on the active Web page.

  1. On the Office Excel Web Access toolbar, click Find Button image.

    The Find dialog box is displayed.

    Issue: Find is not on the Excel Web Access toolbar.

    Excel Services may be customized so that Find is not displayed on the Excel Web Access toolbar. For example, the Type of Toolbar property might be set to not display Find, the All Workbook Interactivity property is cleared, or a named item is selected from the Named Item to Display menu that does not enable Find. For more information, see Excel Web Access Web Part custom properties.

  2. To set the direction for searching, select Up to look from the active row to the top of the view, or select Down to look from the active row to the bottom of the view.

  3. In the Find what box, type the text, number, or date that you want to look for.

    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".

      Note   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 "?", you would type ~? as your search criteria.

  4. To find the next occurrence of the value, click Find Next.

    If the search direction is down and you reach the bottom of the view, Find Next continues looking from the top of the view. If the search direction is up and you reach the top of the worksheet, Find Next continues looking from the bottom of the view.


    • Another way to find data is to use filters to display only the rows that contain the data that you want. For example, in a worksheet that includes both domestic and international sales data, you can display only domestic sales. For more information on filtering, see Filter data in Office Excel Web Access.

    • If you are a workbook author, you can also use the SEARCH, SEARCHB and FIND, FINDB functions to make it easier for users to find text or numbers.

      SEARCH, SEARCHB returns the number of the character at which a specific character or text string is first found, beginning with start_num. Use SEARCH, SEARCHB to determine the location of a character or text string within another text string so that you can use the MID, MIDB or REPLACE, REPLACEB function to change the text.

      FIND, FINDB finds one text string (find_text) within another text string (within_text) and returns the number of the starting position of find_text, from the first character of within_text. Unlike SEARCH, SEARCHB, FIND, FINDB is case-sensitive and doesn't allow wildcard characters.

      For more information, see Microsoft Office Excel Help.

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Applies To: SharePoint Server 2007

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