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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Sound familiar?

Does it bring to mind the childhood game of searching for someone hiding? Or perhaps it brings to mind a common problem…

A file so massive that you pretty much felt like you were playing hide and seek every time you needed to find a particular part of the file.

Unfortunately, “come out, come out, wherever you are” doesn’t really do much when you’re looking for something in a file. So what is the answer? Is there a computer equivalent?

Happily for all of us, there is. It’s known as the “Find” function and it certainly beats searching a file line by line.

To access the Find function you can either go to the Edit menu, Find choice or use Ctrl+F on the keyboard.

The Find window will open. (The look slightly different for each program.)


It can be a pretty easy window to use. Simply type in the word or words for which you are searching and click on the Find Next button.

The program will then begin to search the file for a match of the data you typed in.

When it finds a match, it will be highlighted in the document.

If it is the item you were searching for, click on the Cancel button. The Find window will close and you’re finished!

If it wasn’t the exact spot you were searching for, click the Find Next button and the program will continue the search.

When the program has searched the entire file, it will let you know with a pop-up information window. Click OK in the pop-up window and it will close. This leaves the Find window open and you can alter and/or start your search over again if necessary.

OK, so that’s your basic search of a file using the Find window in its simplest form.

Each program has a Find window that’s slightly different.

For example, in MS Word you can click on the More button to see additional options for search location and criteria. In MS Excel, the Find window allows you to choose where exactly to search along with some other search options and PowerPoint has a couple of its own choices.

The choices are pretty easy to understand. Take a few minutes to look them through. They can be a great help.

Well, there’s the Find tip. Are you ready for a bonus?