How to Find & Replace Text Parts in MS Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

To find and replace text parts in MS Excel, you can use the Find and Replace feature located in the Home tab. Click ‘Find & Select’, choose ‘Replace’, type the text you want to find in the ‘Find what’ box, and then type the replacement text in the ‘Replace with’ box. Click ‘Replace All’ to update all instances or ‘Replace’ to update one at a time.

When you complete this action, all occurrences of the text you specified will be replaced with the new text you entered. This can save you time and ensure consistency across your Excel document.


Microsoft Excel is not just a powerful tool for crunching numbers; it’s also quite adept at handling text. Whether you’re organizing a list of names or editing product descriptions, you’ll often need to find specific text and replace it with something else. This can be a game-changer when dealing with vast datasets where manual editing would take hours, if not days.

Knowing how to find and replace text parts in MS Excel is an essential skill for anyone who regularly works with spreadsheets. It’s not just about saving time; it’s about maintaining accuracy and consistency in your data. Imagine you’ve just changed the name of a product that’s listed hundreds of times in your spreadsheet. You don’t want to go through each cell individually, right? Excel’s find and replace feature makes this task a breeze, allowing you to update your data in a few simple clicks.

This feature is not only relevant for professionals dealing with data analysis but also for teachers organizing student records, small business owners managing inventory, or even individuals keeping track of their expenses. Let’s delve into the steps to achieve this with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: Finding and Replacing Text in MS Excel

Before we dive into the steps, remember that using the Find and Replace feature in Excel will help you quickly update information across your worksheet or entire workbook.

Step 1: Accessing the Find and Replace Feature

Go to the Home tab and click on ‘Find & Select’, then choose ‘Replace’.

This will open up the Find and Replace dialog box. Here, you have several options to specify your search and what you want to do with the results.

Step 2: Enter the Text to Find

In the ‘Find what’ box, type the text that you want to find.

Be specific; if there are variations of the text you’re looking for, Excel will only find the exact matches.

Step 3: Enter the Replacement Text

Type the new text you want to replace the old text with in the ‘Replace with’ box.

You can leave the ‘Replace with’ box empty if you want to delete the found text instead of replacing it.

Step 4: Execute the Replace Function

Click ‘Replace All’ to update all occurrences or ‘Replace’ to update them one at a time.

Using ‘Replace All’ will instantly update all detected instances, while ‘Replace’ will allow you to review each instance before making the change.


Time-savingThe find and replace feature can save a significant amount of time, especially when dealing with large datasets.
ConsistencyIt ensures data consistency by updating all instances of a text part with the exact replacement text.
FlexibilityThe feature offers flexibility in terms of scope, allowing you to replace text in the current worksheet, selected cells, or the entire workbook.


Risk of OverwritingIf not used carefully, you may accidentally overwrite important data with incorrect replacements.
Case SensitivityExcel’s find and replace function is case-sensitive by default, which may lead to missed instances if not accounted for.
Limited to TextThe feature is limited to text replacements and cannot handle changes in formulas or other non-text elements.

Additional Information

While the find and replace feature in MS Excel is quite straightforward, there are a few additional tips and tricks that can enhance your experience. For instance, you can use wildcards like the asterisk (*) to find patterns of text rather than exact matches. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to replace a part of a word rather than the whole thing.

Another handy feature is the ‘Options’ button in the Find and Replace dialog box. Here you can further refine your search by choosing to match case, match entire cell content, or even search within comments or formulas. It’s these little details that can make your find and replace task precise and effective.

Remember, always double-check your ‘Replace with’ text before you hit ‘Replace All’. It’s easy to make a typo that could throw off your entire dataset. And if you’re working with a particularly important spreadsheet, it might even be worth saving a backup before you start replacing text, just in case.


  1. Access the Find and Replace feature.
  2. Enter the text to find.
  3. Enter the replacement text.
  4. Execute the replace function.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a ‘Replace All’ action?

Yes, you can immediately undo a ‘Replace All’ action by pressing Ctrl+Z or by clicking the Undo button.

How do I find and replace text in multiple sheets?

To find and replace text across multiple sheets, you can select all the sheets you want to include before you open the Find and Replace dialog box.

Can I replace text with a formula?

No, the replace function is designed for text replacement. To insert formulas, you’ll need to enter them manually or use other Excel features designed for formulas.

Is there a way to replace text only if it’s an entire cell content?

Yes, in the ‘Options’ within the Find and Replace dialog box, you can select ‘Match entire cell contents’ to ensure only cells with exactly that text are replaced.

What does the wildcard character (*) do in Find and Replace?

The asterisk () wildcard represents any number of characters. For example, searching for ‘lo‘ could find ‘love’, ‘lodge’, ‘lotion’, etc.


Mastering the find and replace text parts in MS Excel can truly transform the way you work with data. It not only saves time but also helps maintain accuracy and uniformity across your documents. Whether you’re a data analyst, an accountant, or just someone trying to keep their personal finances in check, this feature is a powerful ally.

Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Always double-check your replacements and consider the implications of what you’re updating. And now that you know how to find and replace text parts in MS Excel, go forth and conquer those spreadsheets with confidence and efficiency!

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