How to search inside excel files? (2 Fast and Easy Methods)

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I’ll walk you through How to search inside excel files in this tutorial. I have personally used a variety of search engines. The majority of them search the Excel files’ first sheet. Only a select few of them—SeekFast, Agent Ransack, Office Search, and PowerGREP—can search across all sheets.

Many of us use Windows Search to locate files and start programs, but by default, only certain file types may be searched for when looking for text inside files. Here’s how to broaden your search to incorporate other text-based files.

You’ve already seen how to adjust which files are indexed and rebuild your search index, as well as some advanced search operators for Windows Search. What about looking for text in text-based web and scripting files like.html,.php,.js, and others?

search inside excel files

With just a few mouse clicks, Windows search lets you index different file extensions. This method is effective with Windows 10, 8, 7, or even Vista. All versions follow the same fundamental procedure, even though the screens may appear slightly different.

How to search inside excel files?

Click the “Indexing Options” link that appears after you input “index.” In the “Indexing Options” window, select “Advanced.” Change the “File Types” tab to “File Types” in the “Advanced Options” box. After selecting the extension for the file type you need to be included in content searches, choose the “Index Properties and File Contents” option from the list. The filter typically used to open that particular file type should be reflected in the “Filter Description” column’s content. Since we’re choosing the BAT extension in our example, the filter type now reads “Plain Text Filter.”

The absence of the desired file type on the list indicates that no app has been selected as the default handler for that file type. Enter the extension in the “Add New Extension to List” box and press the “Add” button to add the file type.

Since there isn’t an associated app, Windows Search will, by default, utilize a plain text filter to search the contents of those types of files. Exploring for text inside one of the new file formats should now produce results after rebuilding the index.

Navigate to that folder in File Explorer and select “Folder and Search Options” if you always want to search the contents of files in that folder. Choose “Always search file names and contents” under the “Search” tab.

Search in the Workbook:

You can choose where you want your find text to appear in the Microsoft Excel Find and Replace dialogue box. You can switch the “Within” option from Sheet to Workbook, as shown in the accompanying image, to search the whole Workbook rather than just the presently active worksheet.

Enter the text you’re looking for, then choose Workbook from the “Within” drop-down menu. Then, you can either click Find All to display all matches or click Find Next to cycle through all matches.

Search by selected worksheet:

You can choose which worksheets to search for text in addition to the full Workbook. Holding down the Ctrl key while clicking each tab you want to search on the worksheet will highlight each tab for you.

Search by selected worksheet

Perform a Find after you’ve emphasized each worksheet you desire to search, and all highlighted worksheets will be searched. As an illustration, suppose your worksheet names are “Sheet1,” “Sheet2,” and “Sheet3.” Each worksheet contains information you wish to search for the word “computer” in. You would take these actions to accomplish this.

  • If it isn’t already selected, choose the Sheet1 sheet tab.
  • On the keyboard, press the Ctrl key.
  • Click the Sheet3 tab while keeping the Ctrl key depressed.
  • Release the Ctrl key when Sheets 1 and 3 have been highlighted, then press Ctrl+F to bring up the Find and Replace box.
  • Ensure that Sheet is chosen in the within box of the Find and Replace box. Next, select Find Next or Find All from the menu.

How to search in Excel using the Search Sheet bar?

  • Type the words or numbers you’re looking for in the taskbar labeled “Search Sheet” in the upper right corner of the spreadsheet.
  • To move to the next or previous instance, use the arrows adjacent to the search word after pressing “Enter” on a PC or “Return” on a Mac to discover the first instance.
  • The keyboard shortcuts “command + F” on a Mac and “Control + F” on a PC allow you to reach this search bar rapidly.


These were the most effective techniques and tools for searching inside the excel files! Do you have any comments or questions about searching in the workbook or the selected worksheet? I look forward to hearing your viewpoint. Post a comment down below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I search for a word in all sheets in Excel?

First, pick all the sheets.  Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + F to navigate to Home > Find & Select > Find on the Ribbon.  Next, type the word you wish to find (using the keyboard) in the Find what box and select Find All.

How do I search for file contents in Windows 10 Excel?

These tutorials will show you how to search for text in files using File Explorer. Launch File Explorer first. Locate the drive or folder you believe to contain the File. Place a click in the search field located next to the location field. Type a word that you are certain is exclusive to the File and presses Enter. After finding the files, File Explorer will display them to you.

How do I search the contents of files in a folder?

Trying to Find File Content, Click File then Change folder and search options in any File Explorer window. Check the box next to Always search file names and contents by selecting the Search tab. Then click OK, and then Apply.

How do I search inside a file?

If you wish to always search the information of files in that folder, go to that folder in File Explorer and choose “Folder and Search Options. Choose “Always search file names and contents” under the “Search” tab.

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