Change cell formats with find-replace in excel

hacks , ideas , Learn Excel , technology - 10 comments

Do you know that you can use excel find – replace dialog to change cell formats?

Often we prepare a report or project plan and our boss or someone else in the team feels that all the red color cells need to change to blue or something similar, worry not, you can use find-replace (ctrl+h) to do this for you.

I have created a small video demo on how to do this, check it out yourself

If you are not able to see the video:

  1. Press Ctrl+h
  2. click on “Format…” button on “find what:” area and specify the source format
  3. click on “Format…” button on “replace with:” area and specify the target format
  4. Select “replace all” or “replace” depending on your need
  5. Smile, you have just automated a mechanical and boring task

Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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10 Responses to “Change cell formats with find-replace in excel”

  1. Hypnos says:

    I see that you've become quite the excel guru.

    Maybe I should start blogging about powerpoint techniques 😛

  2. ajay says:

    thanks for this excel tip.
    looking for some tips on excel

  3. Chandoo says:

    @Hypnos .. hehe... go ahead, enlighten the world with what you know
    @Ajay .. thanks for visiting phd, hope you like the content here 🙂

  4. [...] you know that you can use find / replace to change spreadsheet formatting too [...]

  5. Atul says:

    How do I find and replace a specific character with formatting only on the replaced character? For example:
    ATUL --> replace L with a bold, green G.
    Laugh --> replace L with a bold, green G.

    I amtrying to highlight the change.

  6. TechGuru says:

    There are softwares available which can assist you in Find & replace multiple words in multiple excel files & worksheets like

  7. Raman says:

    How to find if formatting has changed in given range? is there any event available to check if Formatting has changed (similar to Worksheet Change or Cell Change)?


  8. Sridharan says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I need to delete just a part of the cell value based on the format. For example, in Cell A, the value type is 0100 1200. In this value, actually 0100 was "Strikethrough". Meaning, only 1200 has to be considered.

    In the above case, I need to remove those unwanted information. I.e. all the values with in all the cells where the format for that value (not the entire cell value only that particular value) is "strikethrough".

    Is there any way through VBA ?

    • Hui... says:

      This can be done manually or through VBA
      the problem is that the cell will still contain the value 0100 1200
      even though it looks like 0100 1200
      Which is what any cells linked to that cell will see
      Can you explain why you want to do that and not just replace the 0100 with 1200?


      • Sridharan R says:

        Actually, the file is being updated by other party regularly. Whenever there is a change, the old value will be "strikethrough" and a new value will be entered in place of that.

        But for me to maintain the updated information only at my end and no need to know the history. So to have a clear visibility the old values can be removed.

        To remove the old values the identification criteria is "Strikethrough"

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