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Google Sheets: Find and Replace within a Range

Find and Replace

This week I am meeting with each student to look over their digital portfolio. Students fill out a Google Form to self-evaluate before meeting with me. I have a column where I indicate the students evaluation and if they need to make corrections. I use these codes to send individualized email messages to the students. After sending the mail merge, I change the codes to indicate I already emailed the feedback.
Replace Code

Select the Range

Before I use find and replace I need to select the range of cells that contain the codes. In my use case, I wanted to change the Y to a YS to indicate I had sent feedback already. I do not want to change all of the Y’s in the spreadsheet, just the ones in that particular column.

Highlight the range of cells that contain the values. Click on the top cell, hold down shift and click on the last cell in the column to quickly highlight a lot of cells.

Find and Replace

I use Control F (Find) to locate the codes in the range. Control F will bring up a search box below the toolbar. Type in the word or code you wish to replace. Click on the 3 dots icon in the search box.
Find and Replace

The default replace range is “All sheets.” You want to change this to reflect a particular range.
all sheets

From the drop down list, choose “Specific range.” Edit the range as needed. Tip: If you want to indicate all of the values in a column you can omit the row number. For example E:E is the range of all of column E. If you want the range from  row 32 and below the range would be E32:E.
Specific Range

Replace All

If you’re careful to select the specific range to apply the find and replace, you can click “Replace all.” If you accidentally mess up your spreadsheet, use Control Z to undo the find and replace.

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