How to Replace Text in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

How to Replace Text in Excel

Replacing text in Excel is a breeze once you know the ropes. In a nutshell, you use the ‘Find & Replace’ feature to locate the text you want to change and replace it with something new. This tool is handy for updating multiple cells quickly, ensuring your data stays accurate and up-to-date.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Replace Text in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps to replace text in Excel. By following these steps, you’ll be able to find and replace any text in your Excel spreadsheet efficiently.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

First things first, you need to open your Excel spreadsheet.

Once you have your file open, you can easily navigate through the cells and columns where you want to make the changes.

Step 2: Press Ctrl + H

To open the ‘Find & Replace’ dialog box, press Ctrl + H on your keyboard.

This shortcut will bring up a small window that allows you to enter the text you want to find and what you want to replace it with.

Step 3: Enter the Text to Find

In the ‘Find what’ field, type in the text you want to replace.

Make sure you enter the text exactly as it appears in your cells. Otherwise, Excel won’t find it.

Step 4: Enter the Replacement Text

In the ‘Replace with’ field, type in the new text you want to use.

Double-check your new text to ensure it’s spelled correctly and formatted the way you want.

Step 5: Click ‘Replace All’

Click the ‘Replace All’ button to replace all instances of the text at once.

Excel will give you a notification of how many replacements it made, letting you know the job is done.

Once you’ve completed these steps, all instances of the old text will be replaced with the new text throughout your spreadsheet.

Tips for Replacing Text in Excel

  • Make sure to double-check your ‘Find what’ and ‘Replace with’ fields for any typos.
  • Use the ‘Replace’ button instead of ‘Replace All’ if you want to review each change before it’s made.
  • You can use wildcard characters like * and ? to find and replace words with similar patterns.
  • Save your file before making large replacements, just in case you need to undo the changes.
  • Take advantage of the ‘Options’ button in the ‘Find & Replace’ dialog box to narrow your search to specific parts of your spreadsheet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I undo a replacement?

Press Ctrl + Z immediately after making a replacement to undo it.

Can I replace text in a specific column?

Yes, highlight the column first, then use ‘Find & Replace’ to limit changes to that column.

Can I replace text with formatting?

Yes, click ‘Options’ in the ‘Find & Replace’ dialog box, then choose ‘Format’ to include formatting in your replacement.

What if Excel doesn’t find the text I want to replace?

Double-check for typos or extra spaces in your ‘Find what’ field.

Is there a way to replace multiple different texts at once?

Not directly, but you can create a macro to automate multiple replacements if needed.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Press Ctrl + H
  3. Enter the Text to Find
  4. Enter the Replacement Text
  5. Click ‘Replace All’


Replacing text in Excel is a straightforward task that can save you tons of time, especially when dealing with large datasets. With just a few clicks, you can update your spreadsheet to reflect the most current information. Whether you’re correcting typos, updating product names, or changing dates, the ‘Find & Replace’ feature has got you covered.

Remember to always double-check your entries to ensure accuracy and consider saving a backup of your file before making extensive changes. If you’re new to Excel, practice using this feature with a sample file first to get the hang of it. Once you’re comfortable, you can apply these skills to your actual work.

For further reading, consider looking into Excel’s other powerful features like conditional formatting and data validation, which can also help you manage and clean your data efficiently. Happy Excel-ing!

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