1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Excel's search feature not working

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by adanedhel728, Dec 23, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. adanedhel728

    adanedhel728 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    255
    I'm continually being frustrated with Excel (2003) because the search feature is erratic. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. There are many, many times that it will say "Microsoft Office Excel cannot find the data you're searching for," even though it's there.

    "Match case" and "Match entire cell contents" are both unchecked. Sometimes switching to "Search by columns" works and sometimes it doesn't.

    Is there any way to fix this?
     
  2. Sponsor

  3. DKTaber

    DKTaber

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,796
    It's not a case of "fix this"; it's just that the Find function in Excel is finicky. I run into the same problem due to formatting I employ in most of my worksheets. For example, a worksheet that displays "19.00" in one or more cells will not be found if you actually entered only "19" in the cell, set the cell to display "19.00" and try to search on "19.00". The Find function finds only what you actually entered.

    Given this advice, does it now work?
     
  4. adanedhel728

    adanedhel728 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    255
    Well, actually, no, because the cells I'm searching are formatted as text :\
     
  5. DKTaber

    DKTaber

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,796
    Could it be that you inadvertently selected a series of cells before doing the search? If you do that, it will search only in the selected cells; will ignore all others. If that's not the case, I'm at a loss to figure out why the search function doesn't find the entry(ies).
     
  6. adanedhel728

    adanedhel728 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    255
    No, actually, I made sure to avoid that.
     
  7. DKTaber

    DKTaber

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,796
    Although this is highly unlikely to be the cause, I have from time to time had worksheets where a cell was formatted for numbers and clearly had a number in it, but the formulas at the bottom of the column the cell was in did not recognize that the number was there, either for math or counting. That is, a column with 10, 20, 20, 30 and 30 in five cells would add up to 90, not 110, and the count of the # of items would be 4, not 5. The only way I could find out which cell was unrecognized was to enter the numbers again until I got to the one that caused the total and count to correct. I never found out why this happens, and never tried doing a Find on such columns to see if it would find the number that was not recognized. . . but I'll wager that if I did, it would not find it.

    The chances of your problem being related to this is <0.1%, but thought I'd mention it anyway. As I said before, I am at the moment out of ideas as to the cause.
     
  8. adanedhel728

    adanedhel728 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    255
    Yeah, that's not it, either. Thanks for your help anyway, though, I do appreciate it.

    I discovered that if I happen to be in the sheet where the data is, it works fine (in other words, the "search entire workbook" option doesn't work), but the problem with that is that the spreadsheets I'm using are oftentimes well over a hundred sheets large. And I discovered that closing out the document and reopening it usually fixes the problem temporarily. It's a frustrating workaround, though.

    It also just occurred to me that I might be able to import the whole thing into Word and search that way. I'm going to try that when I go to work on Monday.
     
  9. slurpee55

    slurpee55

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,837
    Is your search set to look for values or formulas? If you want to find a text line and it is set to formulas, it won't work for you - no such formula will exist.
     
  10. DKTaber

    DKTaber

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,796
    It would be strange indeed if that's the answer. Perhaps it's different in Excel 2003, but my "Find" (Excel 2000), whether set to Values or Formulas, finds anything I ask it to, and it makes no difference whether the cell entry is a number or text, or what the cell format is.
     
  11. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/887873