Cells

Find or replace text and numbers on a worksheet

Find or replace text and numbers on a worksheet

Use the Find and Replace features in Excel to search for something in your workbook, such as a particular number or text string. You can either locate the search item for reference, or you can replace it with something else. You can also find cells that have a particular format applied.

To find text or numbers, press Ctrl+F, or go to Home > Editing > Find & Select > Find.

Press Ctrl+F to launch the Find dialog

  1. In the Find what box, type the text or numbers you want to search for, or click the arrow in the Find what box, and then select a recent search item from 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 contain "?", you would type ~? as your search criteria. To enter a tilde, press Shift+~, where the tilde key is usually found above the Tab key.

  2. Click Find All or Find Next to run your search.

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

  3. Click Options to further define your search if needed:

    • To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, in the Within box, select 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, Notes, or Comments.

      Note:   Formulas, Values, Notes and Comments are only available on the Find tab; only Formulas are 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 that you typed in the Find what box, select the Match entire cell contents check box.

  4. If you want to search for text or numbers with 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 specific cell format as an example. 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.

To replace text or numbers, press Ctrl+H, or go to Home > Editing > Find & Select > Replace.

Press Ctrl+H to launch the Replace dialog.

  1. In the Find what box, type the text or numbers you want to search for, or click the arrow in the Find what box, and then select a recent search item from 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 contain "?", you would type ~? as your search criteria. To enter a tilde, press Shift+~, where the tilde key is usually found above the Tab key.

  2. In the Replace with box, enter the text or numbers you want to use to replace the search text.

  3. Click Replace All or Replace.

    Tip: When you click Replace All, every occurrence of the criteria that you are searching for will be replaced, while Replace will update one occurrence at a time.

  4. Click Options to further define your search if needed:

    • To search for data in a worksheet or in an entire workbook, in the Within box, select 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, Notes, or Comments.

      Note:   Formulas, Values, Notes and Comments are only available on the Find tab; only Formulas are 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 that you typed in the Find what box, select the Match entire cell contents check box.

  5. If you want to search for text or numbers with 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 specific cell format as an example. 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.

Tips

  • Excel saves the formatting options you define. If you search the worksheet for data again and cannot find characters 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.

  • You can also use the SEARCH and FIND functions to find text or numbers on a worksheet.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Got It
Get instant Excel help
Connect to an expert now
Subject to Got It terms and conditions

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×