mushroom search - Image Source: /SilviaritaThere are many times when you need to find a certain word or number and searching visually can take a long time. Not only that you may miss a few entries that of course will turn out to be the most important ones to have found. Find and replace are very useful tools found in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

How to use Find in Word

In the Home tab. Home TabThe Find tool is located at the very end on the right. Home Tab
If you wish to search the entire document, place your cursor at the start of the document.

  • Select the Find Tool.

The Navigation window appears on the left of your screen. Navigation WindowResults is the default setting. Here you can type the word or words you need to search for.

As soon as you type the word you are searching for this word is highlighted in your document.

As soon as you click in the text to change this word or add text all the highlighted words are immediately not highlighted any more. Results 1

Using Find and Replace

Find is great if all you want is to find a certain word in your document. But when you need to replace a word that is incorrect for any reason, perhaps you type the wrong name, find and replace does that job.

From the Home tab just underneath the Find tool is the Replace tool. Replace Tool

  • Select this tool.

This dialog box appears. Replace Dialog Box

  • Type the word you need to replace in the first line.
  • Type the replacement word in the second line.

DO NOT! Select the “Replace all” button. This will start the search and replace the word in every encounter even if it is part of a longer word.

For example: the word “ten” – can be found in many words here is a list of just a few:

attendant attending attention attentive
centenary competent detention eaten
existence extension extensive fastening
forgotten impotence insistent intending
intensify intensity intensive intention
latten oaten often paten
potential pretended retention steno
stent tenacious tends tenet
tenon tenor tense tentative
tenth tents


Therefore, it would be wrong to replace all of these instances of “ten”.

  • Instead, select the “Find Next” Button as many times as necessary to find the word you need to replace with your corrected word.
  • Select “Replace” button.

Searching only part of your document

If you know that the word you need to replace only applies to a small part of your document you can first highlight that part of the text before you select “Replace”. When you have found and replaced all the incorrect words in the highlighted area Word asks you a question.
Continue search message

This allows you the choice of continuing through the rest of the document or stopping the search.

How to use Find in Excel

  • Place your cursor at the start of the sheet.

From the Home Tab at the very end you will find the Find Tool. Excel Home TabExcel Home Tab

  • Select this tool.

This list appears. Find list

  • Select Find…

This dialog box appears. Find dialog box

  • Type what you need to find in the line “Find what”.
  • Use the Find Next tool as many times as you need to find the one cell you require.
  • Select Close Button and you will return to the spreadsheet to do whatever you need to.

How to search a portion of the spreadsheet

  • Select the area you wish to search in.
  • Type in the item you are searching for.
  • Select the “Find next” Button to find all the entries in this area. Results 2

When you have found the last entry, the search returns you to the start of the area. You do not get an invitation to continue this search beyond the highlighted area.

This ability to limit the search is really useful in Excel.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here