Google Sheets is a great way to keep track of huge amounts of data, but it can be challenging to track down specific information in larger sheets. You might find yourself scrolling and scrolling and you just can’t find what you need. This is exactly why it’s helpful to know how to search in Google Sheets.
In our example, we’re going to use a fake budget with 20 lines of data. After all, it’s important to know just where your money is going. We’ll walk you through the basic steps for searching and using Find and Replace. The process is mainly the same as how to search in Google Docs, though a few steps are different because you’re working with cells instead of paragraphs.
How to search in Google Sheets
1a. To get started, you’ll have to bring up the Find and Replace menu. You can do this either by pressing Ctrl + H on a PC (Command + Shift + H on a Mac) or navigating to the Edit tab and scrolling to the Find and Replace option.
1b. If you’re not planning to replace any data you can open the find option with Ctrl + F on a PC or Command + F on a Mac. The Find feature is similar to searching on any other webpage — simply type in the word you want to find and Google Sheets does the rest.
2. Once you’ve opened the Find and Replace menu in Google Sheets, you’ll see two text boxes as well as a dropdown menu for the search options. We’ll enter the term “Auto” in the Find box and set the parameter to “This Sheet” to find our information on car payments.
Leave the replace option blank for now as we aren’t looking to swap the data.
3. Now click the Find button. You should see that the popup menu will search Google Sheets and highlight each instance of your keyword one at a time.
4. Click Done once you’ve found the cell you need. Your cell will stay highlighted and the menu will disappear.
Those are the basic steps for how to search in Google Sheets, but it’s important to know how to use the replace function of Find and Replace as well. Here are a few tips to get the job done:
1. Reopen the Find and Replace menu. We’ll use the same Auto term as before in the Find box.
2. Now add the term Car to the Replace box and set the search to This Sheet. You’ll have to hit Find and then Replace each time you want to update a term.
3. Notice that Find and Replace in Google Sheets will only replace the specific word in each cell. In our example, Auto and Gas becomes Car and Gas. We can choose not to replace Auto with Car in the Shell Oil cell because it’s the name of a business.
4. You can also choose to hit the Replace All button to condense the process. This will replace every instance of the word Auto with the word Car.
Now that you know how to search in Google Sheets, you should never have trouble finding the right cell again!