Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Finding and replacing stuff
If you want to search the entire workbook or worksheet to locate a string of characters
(depending on the selection you make in the Within drop-down list), be sure that only
a single cell is selected before clicking the Find command. Excel begins its search from
that cell and travels through the entire worksheet or workbook. Select more than one
cell before choosing Find, and the search is confined to the selected cells.
The nuances of the Look In options, Formulas and Values, can be confusing. Remember that
the underlying contents of a cell and the displayed value of that cell are often not the same.
When using these options, you should keep in mind the following:
If a cell contains a formula, the displayed value of the cell is usually the result of that
If a cell contains a numeric value, the displayed value of the formatted cell might or
might not be the same as the cell’s underlying value.
If a cell displays a text value, it is probably the same as the underlying value, unless
the cell contains a formula that uses text functions.
If a cell has the General format, the displayed and underlying values of the cell are
usually the same.
For example, if you type 1000 in the Find What text box and select Values as the Look In
option, Excel looks at what is displayed in each cell. If you have an unformatted cell with
the value 1000 in it, Excel finds it. If another cell has the same value formatted as currency
($1,000), Excel does not find it because the displayed value does not precisely match the
Find What string. Because you’re searching through values and not formulas, Excel ignores
the underlying content of the cell, which is 1000. If you select the Formulas option, Excel
finds both instances, ignoring the formatting of the displayed values.
If you close the Find And Replace dialog box and want to search for the next
occurrence of the same string in your worksheet, you can press F4, the keyboard shortcut
for repeating the last action (of any kind). Later, you can repeat your last search, even if
you have performed other tasks since that search, by pressing Shift+F4.