In workbooks with lots of data, when I’m
looking for something, I sometimes have trouble finding a specific word or phrase that I know
is in there somewhere. The Find feature can help by searching the workbook for you. Just click Find & Select on the ribbon. Then
choose Find… and type the word or phrase you’re looking for. When you’re done, click Find Next in the dialog
box. If the word or phrase is found, the cell containing it will be selected. At times, you may find that you’ve made a
mistake throughout your workbook, or you need to swap a certain word or phrase for another.
For that, you can use the Replace feature instead. I actually need to change the name of this
department from Accounting to… Finance. To continue, go ahead and click Replace…
and it will jump to the next instance automatically. If you want to skip the current instance without
replacing it, click Find Next instead. Alternatively, to replace every instance without
having to review each one, click Replace All… and the entire workbook will be updated. When it comes to using Replace All though,
it’s important to remember that it could find matches you didn’t anticipate, and
might not actually want to change. Generally, you don’t want to use Replace All
because it doesn’t give you the option of skipping anything you don’t want to change.
So you should only use this option if you’re absolutely sure that it won’t replace anything
you didn’t intend it to. Now that you know how to use Find and Replace,
you can put this time-saving technique to work in your Excel spreadsheets.