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Locating and changing data using Find and Replace

From: Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Locating and changing data using Find and Replace

Excel worksheets often contain a lot of data, much more that you can look through easily if you want to find a specific value. Rather than work by hand, you can use the Find and Replace functionality to locate the values you are looking for. If you want to find a value in your worksheet, you can type it in the Search in Sheet box, which is here on the right side of the toolbar. Let's say that I want to find the letters C-A. If I type in ca and press enter, Excel moves from the starting cell, which was here, and then looks through your data, going by rows, to find the first occurrence of CA.

Locating and changing data using Find and Replace

Excel worksheets often contain a lot of data, much more that you can look through easily if you want to find a specific value. Rather than work by hand, you can use the Find and Replace functionality to locate the values you are looking for. If you want to find a value in your worksheet, you can type it in the Search in Sheet box, which is here on the right side of the toolbar. Let's say that I want to find the letters C-A. If I type in ca and press enter, Excel moves from the starting cell, which was here, and then looks through your data, going by rows, to find the first occurrence of CA.

If you want to find the next occurrence, you can go up to the Search in Sheet box and click the Next button. It moves down. Click Next again. It finds the final one. If there are no more values to be found, it cycles back around to the first one. There is also the Previous button. So, for example, if you want to go back to the previous example of the letters ca, you can press the Previous button and move back. If you want more advanced options, you can click the Edit menu header and then click Find, or press Command+F, depending upon your preference.

You can use the controls in the Find dialog box to search your worksheet. So, for example, let's say that I wanted to find the term lemon, in the case of the lemon infused olive oil, put out by Two Trees. If I type it in, in Find what, and then click Find Next, Excel locates the next occurrence of the term lemon. But now let's see what happens when I press Find Next again, because as you'll see, the word lemon doesn't occur again. But when I click Find Next, it highlights this cell, and you can see why that happened just by looking at it.

The gentleman's last name is Lemontree, and because the character string l-e-m-o-n occurs in his name, just as it does here, that cell was identified as containing a target value. If you want to avoid that, you can click Find entire cells only. So when you select that option, Excel will only find examples of this entire value, as opposed to being part of a longer string. So, for example, if I click Find Next again, Excel highlights Lemon. If I click Find Next again, it no longer finds Lemontree, because it's only looking for matches where the word lemon, or the character string l-e-m-o-n, is the entire content of a particular cell.

There is only one cell like that in this worksheet, and that is cell D2. You can also match case. So, for example, if I have l-e-m-o-n all lowercase, and I click Find Next, Excel will say that it can't find the data we're searching for. The reason is because the first letter of lemon in this cell is a capital L. I'll click OK to clear the notification, backspace over the lowercase l, type out an uppercase L, and when I click Find Next, Excel once again highlights this cell, which contains exactly the string.

Now, let's say that I want to replace values; in other words, instead of finding them, I want to replace them completely with other values. So I'll close here, and then just to show you once again, to get to the Replace dialog box, you can click Edit > Replace. The Replace dialog box has two fields: one where you identify what you want to find, and the second where you type in the value that you want to replace the value that you found. Just for now, I will clear the Match case and Find entire cells only check boxes. So let's say that my friend Daria Robespierre has changed her last name, and it's now Kathaway.

So I'll type Robespierre, and I will replace it with Kathaway. So now we're going to replace it. When I click Find Next, Excel locates the next occurrence of the term Robespierre. I can click Replace, and Excel changed it to Kathaway. But now notice that it also identified a city named Robespierre. I don't want to replace that, so I can click Find Next. It finds it again. I don't want to change it. So now I can click Close. But now, I want to show you something that's extremely tempting and very dangerous.

So I'm going to replace Kathaway with Robespierre again. I just pressed Command+Z to undo my last change. Now I'm going to show you the dangers of Replace All. So Edit > Replace. We're replacing Robespierre with Kathaway. Let's say that I click Replace All. When I do, Excel tells me that it replaced two instances, which is the first indication, because there is only one change I wanted to make. But in addition to changing Daria's last name to Kathaway, the City of Robespierre also had its name changed.

That's not correct. So you need to be very, very careful if you're using Replace All, especially if you're replacing a short string like CA - you can have a lot of unintended errors in your documents. Finding and replacing values in an Excel worksheet is very straightforward. To locate a value, type it in the Search in Sheet box or the Find dialog, and use the controls to find every cell where the value occurs. Replacing one value with another is just as easy, but be sure you're replacing exactly the values you want. If you're not careful, you could make a mistake.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 30128 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
  2. 20m 56s
    1. Exploring the Excel 2011 window
      4m 16s
    2. Introducing the Ribbon for Mac
      4m 44s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      4m 20s
    4. Setting program preferences
      3m 20s
    5. Getting help in Excel
      4m 16s
  3. 20m 4s
    1. Opening, creating, and saving workbooks
      5m 23s
    2. Setting workbook properties
      4m 14s
    3. Creating and modifying workbook templates
      4m 18s
    4. Managing workbooks across multiple versions of Excel
      6m 9s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Selecting cells and groups of cells
      4m 58s
    2. Copying and pasting cell data
      2m 39s
    3. Entering data using AutoFill and other techniques
      4m 32s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      5m 3s
    5. Creating an Excel table
      4m 43s
    6. Locating and changing data using Find and Replace
      4m 57s
    7. Restricting input using validation rules
      4m 42s
    8. Using lists to limit data entered into a cell
      2m 32s
    9. Sorting worksheet data
      3m 2s
    10. Creating a custom sort order
      3m 54s
    11. Filtering worksheet data
      4m 6s
    12. Inserting, moving, and deleting cells and cell ranges
      3m 50s
    13. Splitting and freezing rows and columns
      3m 51s
    14. Managing worksheets
      5m 28s
    15. Creating, editing, and deleting headers and footers
      4m 41s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Introducing Excel formulas and functions
      3m 17s
    2. Adding a formula to a cell
      4m 0s
    3. Introducing arithmetic operators
      4m 13s
    4. Using absolute and relative cell references
      6m 29s
    5. Controlling how Excel copies and pastes formulas
      6m 5s
    6. Referring to Excel table data in formulas
      2m 3s
    7. Creating an AutoSum formula
      3m 22s
    8. Summarizing data on the status bar
      2m 22s
    9. Joining text in cells with concatenation
      3m 59s
    10. Summarizing data using an IF function
      6m 21s
    11. Summarizing data using SUMIF and other conditional functions
      5m 41s
    12. Creating formulas to count cells
      2m 37s
    13. Rounding cell values up and down
      4m 55s
    14. Finding data using VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP
      6m 33s
    15. Auditing formulas by identifying precedents and dependents
      3m 25s
    16. Managing Excel formula error indicators
      4m 42s
    17. Managing scenarios
      4m 59s
    18. Performing Goal Seek analysis
      2m 31s
  6. 45m 48s
    1. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      6m 7s
    2. Applying number and date formats to cells
      7m 1s
    3. Managing text alignment
      3m 56s
    4. Copying cell formats
      4m 2s
    5. Managing cell styles
      3m 16s
    6. Managing Office themes
      3m 31s
    7. Creating rule-based conditional formats
      3m 54s
    8. Defining Top 10 conditional formats
      4m 19s
    9. Defining data bar, color scale, and icon set conditional formats
      6m 6s
    10. Editing, ordering, and deleting conditional formats
      3m 36s
  7. 36m 55s
    1. Creating bar and column charts
      5m 26s
    2. Creating pie charts
      2m 32s
    3. Creating line charts
      4m 34s
    4. Creating XY (scatter) charts
      1m 49s
    5. Creating stock charts
      4m 11s
    6. Changing chart types and layouts
      2m 22s
    7. Changing the appearance of a chart
      4m 25s
    8. Managing chart axes and numbering
      2m 51s
    9. Adding trendlines to charts
      4m 14s
    10. Creating sparkline charts
      4m 31s
  8. 18m 39s
    1. Importing data from comma separated value (CSV) or text files
      4m 20s
    2. Connecting to an external data source
      2m 22s
    3. Using hyperlinks
      6m 1s
    4. Including an Excel workbook in another Office document
      3m 5s
    5. Linking to an Excel chart from another Office program
      2m 51s
  9. 26m 21s
    1. Creating and formatting shapes
      3m 10s
    2. Adding and adjusting images
      5m 38s
    3. Cropping, compressing, and removing image backgrounds
      4m 46s
    4. Creating SmartArt graphics
      5m 7s
    5. Creating WordArt
      2m 34s
    6. Aligning and layering objects
      5m 6s
  10. 29m 51s
    1. Introducing PivotTable reports
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a PivotTable report
      4m 37s
    3. Pivoting a PivotTable report
      3m 18s
    4. Managing subtotals and grand totals
      3m 23s
    5. Summarizing more than one data field
      1m 34s
    6. Changing the data field summary operation
      2m 40s
    7. Changing the data field number format
      2m 27s
    8. Filtering a PivotTable report
      2m 46s
    9. Applying a PivotTable style
      2m 20s
    10. Creating and editing styles
      2m 59s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Checking spelling
      3m 32s
    2. Setting AutoCorrect and automatic Replace options
      3m 59s
    3. Managing workbook comments
      3m 40s
    4. Tracking and reviewing changes
      5m 12s
    5. Printing a worksheet or workbook
      3m 44s
    6. Setting and removing print areas
      2m 31s
    7. Exporting to other formats
      1m 33s
    8. Protecting a workbook
      2m 36s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. Running an existing macro
      4m 56s
    2. Recording a macro
      3m 56s
    3. Recording a macro using relative references
      6m 15s
    4. Renaming, viewing, and deleting macros
      2m 58s
    5. Adding comments to a macro
      2m 43s
    6. Turning off screen updating in a macro
      3m 4s
  13. 1m 1s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 1s

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