Find Command Doesn't Work Across Worksheets in Group

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Article ID: 124105 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you use the Find dialog box to locate specific information, Microsoft Excel finds only the first occurrence of the value (even if you have selected multiple worksheets that contain this information).

If the information is not located on the active worksheet, even if it is located on another sheet in the group, you receive the following message:
Cannot find matching data
NOTE: This is not a problem when you use the Replace command. Only the Find command exhibits this problem.

Cause

This problem occurs because the Find command does not work across grouped worksheets. Microsoft Excel Help states that if a group of sheets is selected, the Find command searches all of the sheets in the group except Visual Basic modules. This is not the actual behavior. When you select multiple worksheets, and you use the Find command to search for information on a worksheet, only the first occurrence of the value is found.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. This problem no longer occurs in Microsoft Excel 2000.

Workaround

To work around this problem, you can use a Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications macro (Sub procedure) to search each worksheet that is selected in group mode.

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. To create the macro, follow these steps:
  1. Save and close any open workbooks, and then create a new workbook.
  2. If you are using Microsoft Excel 97, follow these steps:

    1. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Visual Basic Editor to start the Visual Basic Editor.
    2. On the Insert menu, click Module
    If you are using Microsoft Excel 7.0 or earlier, point to Macro on the Insert menu, and click Module.
  3. Type the following code in the module:
          Sub FindData()
    
         ' This Sub prompts you for a value and searches each worksheet
         ' that is selected in group mode. If it finds the search value,
         ' the routine prompts you to continue the search on the sheet.
         ' If it does not find the value on the sheet, it goes to the
         ' next sheet. You can cancel the search on the sheet by
         ' answering No to "Look for another value..." and then
         ' answering Yes to "Cancel the search ...".
         '
         ' WARNING: When this macro ends, the workbook will no longer be
         ' in group mode.
    
         testValue = InputBox("Enter the value to search for : ")
         For Each x In ActiveWindow.SelectedSheets
             x.Select
             Set foundcell = ActiveSheet.Cells.Find(testValue)
             If foundcell Is Nothing Then
                 MsgBox "The word was not found"
             Else
                 MsgBox "The word was found in cell " & foundcell.Address
                 Range(foundcell.Address).Select
    
          LookAgain:
                 response = MsgBox _
                     ("Look for another value on this sheet?", vbYesNo)
    
                 ' If response = 6, we will not continue searching on
                 ' this sheet.
                 If response = 6 Then
    
                     ' Part2
                     Set foundcell = _
                         ActiveSheet.Cells.FindNext(after:=ActiveCell)
                     Range(foundcell.Address).Select
                     GoTo LookAgain
                 End If
    
                 If response = 7 Then
                     response = MsgBox("Cancel search ? ", vbYesNo)
                     If response = 6 Then End
                     GoTo NextSheet
                 End If
             End If
    
        NextSheet:
            Next x
            MsgBox "Search is complete ....."
    
        End Sub
    						
  4. If you are using Microsoft Excel 97, click "Close and Return to Microsoft Excel" on the File menu to switch to Microsoft Excel.
  5. Select the worksheets (group mode) that you want to search. Use the appropriate method for your situation:

    • If you want to select two or more adjacent sheets, click the tab for the first sheet, and then hold down SHIFT and click the tab for the last sheet. -or-

    • If you want to select two or more nonadjacent sheets, click the tab for the first sheet, and then hold down CTRL and click the tabs for the other sheets. -or-

    • If you want to select all sheets in the workbook, right-click a sheet tab, and then click Select All Sheets on the shortcut menu.
  6. If you are using Microsoft Excel 97, follow these steps:

    • On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
    • Click the FindData macro, and then click Run. Follow the directions on the dialog boxes that appear.
    If you are using Microsoft Excel 7.0 or earlier, follow these steps:

    • On the Tools menu, click Macro.
    • Click FindData and click Run.

References

Microsoft Excel 97

For more information about the Find command on the Edit menu, click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel Help, type the following text
Finding, data
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Find or replace data" topic.

Microsoft Excel 5.0

For more information about the Find Command (on the Edit Menu), click the Search button in Help and type:
Find Command (Edit Menu)

Properties

Article ID: 124105 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 for Macintosh
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbdtacode kbprb kbualink97 KB124105

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