Finding Data

With Excel's Find command, you can locate specific data, text, characters, formatting, and special characters. For example, what if you want to find the row that contains sales data for any category with the word cover in it. You can search for data in three ways:

  • Find the first occurrences of the data

  • Find other occurrences of that data

  • Find all occurrences of that data

In the next To Do exercise, you search for the first instance of the word cover.

To Do: Find Data

  1. Choose Edit, Find. Excel opens the Find and Replace dialog box.

  2. Click the Find tab, if necessary.


    You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F to display the Find and Replace dialog box with the Find tab selected.

  3. In the Find What text box, type cover.

  4. Click the Find Next button. Excel finds the first occurrence of the information and makes it the active cell.

  5. If you want to continue searching for other instances of the data, click the Find Next button.


If you want to specify how to search for the data, click the Options button. You can search by rows or columns, select a worksheet element such as Formulas, Values, or Comments, distinguish to match upper- and lowercase, and find only cells with the exact characters in Find What text box.

To find all instances of the data, click the Find All button. At the bottom of the Find dialog box, Excel displays a list of the cells found, as shown in Figure 8.13. You should see six columns in the list: Book, Sheet, Name, Cell, Value, and Formula. The Book, Sheet, and Cell columns indicate the location of the cell. If there is a name or formula associated with the cell, you will see them in the Name and Formula columns. The data you entered in the Find What box should match the data in the Value column.

Figure 8.13. The Find and Replace dialog box with a list of all cells found.


    Part I: Excel Basics