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How to search in Google Sheets

If you’re working on spreadsheets via Google Sheets where you’re finding it difficult to locate words, numbers, or formulas, then there’s an easy solution to find what you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at how to search in Google Sheets.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • A computer, laptop, tablet, or phone with access to Google Sheets

Using the Find and Replace tool

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet and then select the Edit tab adjacent to File.

Step 2: Click the Find and replace field.

The Find and replace field in Google Sheets used for searching.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Within the Find box, enter the number or word you want to search for.

The Find box in Google Sheets used for entering a search term.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Within the Search drop-down box, you can initiate the search to be applied to all your sheets within that file via All sheets. You can also search within This sheet or a Specific range.

The different Search options in Google Sheets.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Once you’ve selected an option from that drop-down menu, click the Find button.

Google will display the word or number you searched for by applying a blue border around the cell it’s inserted in.

The Find button in Google Sheets and how Google displays that search.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to search for formulas

If you’re searching for a formula instead of a word or number, Google provides an option to do so.

Step 1: Click Edit and then select Find and Replace.

Step 2: Tick the Also search within formulas box.

The Also search within formulas box in Google Sheets.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: In the Find box, enter the formula you want to search for. You can search for the entire formula or you can search for a certain formula by only typing the first part of that formula. For example, I included the result for =sum in the image below. Click the Find button.

Searching for a formula in Google Sheets.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is the shortcut for search in Google Sheets?

Step 1: When you have your spreadsheet open, use the CTRL button and F keyboard combination to open a search box.

The shortcut to search in Google Sheets.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: If you want to open Find and replace instead, use the CTRL + Shift + H keyboard combination on Windows or Command (cmd) + Shift + H on a Mac.

The shortcut to open the Find and replace window in Google Sheets.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For more on Google Sheets, head over to our guide on how to make a graph or chart, as well our tutorial on how to lock cells in Google Sheets.

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