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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Using the Find and Replace function only for text contents(Excel XP, 2003, 2007)

          Just like Word, the table calculation off ers a function to Find and Replace terms. After you have changed a few words on a worksheet, the formulas compiled before with much eff ort cease to work and give wrong results.
           Perhaps you have not only changed the text contents, but also expressions in the formulas. To avoid this, before replacing, open ‘Edit | Go to’. Then click on ‘Special’ and select the option ‘Constants’. This selects all cells that do not contain any formulas. Now you can deactivate the individual check boxes under it – ‘Numbers’, ‘Text’, ‘Actual values’ or ‘Errors’, to further restrict the selection. Confirm with ‘OK’. Now you can execute the desired task.
BACKGROUND: The table calculation replaces key words in formulas with the ‘Find & Replace’-function without any warning. This, at best, causes error messages to appear, in worst case, unnoticed, wrong results. For example, if you wish to replace the term ‘Number’ with ‘Numbers’, this also replaces the function ‘NUMBER’, which you have possibly used in a formula. The situation gets more critical, if you wish to replace ‘and’ with ‘or’ in the text. This also changes the logical function ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ in formulas and give the wrong results, or perhaps no result at all – or only after its too late.


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