Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: A Fast Find-Next.

A Fast Find-Next

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 10, 2017)

7

You already know how to find information in an Excel worksheet by using the searching features built into the program. Using the Find tool (press Ctrl+F) you can search for just about anything in your worksheet. I find myself using Find quite often in the course of editing a worksheet, particularly if the worksheet is quite large.

There is one thing about Find that bothers me, however. I hate having the Find and Replace dialog box block part of my worksheet as I am stepping through occurrences of a search string. Clicking on Find Next works great, but that bothersome dialog box is still blocking my view.

To overcome this, I generally do the following when I am searching for something:

  1. Press Ctrl+F as normal, specifying what I want to search for and then looking for the first occurrence.
  2. When the first occurrence is displayed, I press the Esc key (or click on Cancel). The Find and Replace dialog box disappears.
  3. To find the next occurrence, I press Shift+F4.

This procedure works the same as clicking Find Next repeatedly, and it is just as fast, but it gets rid of the annoying Find dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3426) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: A Fast Find-Next.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Conditional Page Breaks

Need to have your worksheet printout start on a new page every time a value in a column changes? There are a couple of ways ...

Discover More

Returning to Your Document after Adding an Endnote

Endnotes are a required element in some types of writing. When you add an endnote, Word moves you to the end of your document ...

Discover More

Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells

If you lose your place on the screen quite often, you might find it helpful to have not just a single cell highlighted, but ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Searching for Wildcards

Wildcard characters can be used within the Find and Replace tool, but what if you want to actually search for those wildcard ...

Discover More

Superscripts in Find and Replace

The find and replace used in Excel is less powerful than its counterpart in Word, so it is not able to do some of the ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing in Text Boxes

Finding and replacing information in a worksheet is easy. Finding and replacing in other objects (such as text boxes or chart ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

2017-07-10 14:27:44

Neil

Thanks Allen, the box in the way has annoyed me too. Great tip!


2017-07-10 09:11:24

Shandor

I do what Dennis does, since I'm usually looking for several items and the Find All list conveniently shows them all, without causing a blocking problem.


2017-07-10 06:27:46

JD Murphy

To find the previous occurrence, I press Shift+Ctrl+F4.


2013-05-28 08:08:46

Joe Marten

I also like to use the Find All button on the F&R dialog. I often use the Control +H to display the dialog. But if you want to display the all directly you can use
Alt + HFDRI.
Looks like a lot letters but here is how i can remember Alt + H for the home ribbon
FDR like the President's initials and then finally the I
Alt +HFDRI


2013-05-27 14:36:19

Dennis

If you want to see all the "found" items more concisely, you can choose the Find All button in the F&R dialog rather than the Find button. Excel will display a list of all cells with the search term and each cell's value. So you might be able to find what you want just by visually skimming the list. Alternatively you can select items from the list to have Excel go to the cell. After selecting one item try pressing the down-arrow to go to the next item. Finally, the F&R dialog has an Options button to let you expand the search to the whole workbook.


2013-05-26 04:36:05

Mike

I'd never thought of that, great tip.

I have another issue regarding find & replace. If I use F&R the for the first time, the cursor starts in the Find box, I enter what I want to find, press tab, enter what I want to replace it with.

But when I press CtrlH the next time, the cursor again starts in the Replace box. If I'm starting a new F&R, this is irritating, as I have to then click in the Find box before I start. Is there a way that I can get the cursor to always start in the Find box, rather than Replace?

The one option I can think of is always press CtrlF, enter the new Find data, press CtrlH, and enter the replace data. There has to be an improvement on this.


2013-05-25 07:24:24

AGlewis

This is an excellent tip, thanks Allen.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.