How to Use Excel CTRL+F Function to Search Entire Workbook

Microsoft Excel is used by professionals and in personal use for many different reasons, like managing a business or monitoring personal finances.

One of the best functions of Excel is the ability to create multiple sheets (or tabs) to organize your data. One sheet might contain one data set – like vacation expenses, and another sheet might show monthly streaming subscriptions like Netflix.

Once you starting adding more and more sheets, you might not remember where a specific piece of data is stored – like the Hulu entry – and you might want to run a CTRL + F search to find that specific term.

If you don’t adjust the find function settings, you won’t get the search results that you’re looking for in an Excel file. Use the below guide to get find a specific term on any sheet in Microsoft Excel.


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Difference between Sheet and Workbook in Excel

It might be obvious to frequent Excel users, but it would be best to clarify the difference between a Sheet and Workbook. This will help understand some of the references and why it’s important to adjust search.

Workbook

A Workbook is a term used to describe the entire file you’re working on in Excel. For a comparison – if you were reading a novel, the entire book (cover, pages, etc.) would be the Workbook.

Sheet

A Sheet is an individual Tab. These are the sections that appear at the bottom when you’re working in Excel and makeup your entire Workbook. For another novel comparison, an individual page in the book is like a Sheet.

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Search entire Excel Workbook with CTRL+F – Simple Steps

Follow these steps to use the CTRL+F find function to search an entire Microsoft Excel Workbook:

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel file.
  2. Click anywhere in one of the Excel sheets.
  3. Press CTRL+F on your keyboard to open the Find function.
  4. Click the Options box.
  5. In the Within box, select Workbook.
  6. Type your term in the search bar and click Find All or Find Next.

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Search entire Excel Workbook with CTRL+F – Guide with Images

Follow these steps to use the CTRL+F find function to search an entire Microsoft Excel Workbook:

Step 1 – Open your Microsoft Excel file, then click anywhere in one of the Excel sheets

Step 2 – Press CTRL+F on your keyboard to open the Find function, then click the Options box.

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Step 3 – In the Within box, select Workbook.

Step 4 – Type your term in the search bar and click Find All or Find Next.

You’ll be taken to results in all the Sheets in the Workbook. Clicking Find Next will take you to the term. Clicking Find All will populate results below.

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