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Article ID: 192219 - Last Review: October 10, 2013 - Revision: 2.0

 
This article was previously published under Q192219
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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel, if you type text that begins with an apostrophe character (') in the Find What box in the Find or Replace dialog box, and then click Find Next, you receive one of the following error messages:
Cannot find matching data
-or-
Microsoft Excel cannot find the data you're searching for. If you are certain the data exists in the current sheet, check what you typed and try again.
If you click Replace All, you receive one of the following error messages:
Cannot find matching data to replace
-or-
Microsoft Excel cannot find matching data to replace. No cell in the selection contains what you typed, or no records match the criteria.

CAUSE

The engine for the Find and Find Next commands does not recognize a leading apostrophe character because this character in this position is designed to be transparent.

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem, use any of the following methods.

Method 1

Replace the contents of a single cell that contains text that begins with an apostrophe character. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Select the cell that contains the text that you want to replace, and click Replace on the Edit menu.
  2. In the Find What box, type the text that you want to replace, such as xxx. Do not include the apostrophe.
  3. In the Replace With box, type the text that you want to appear in the cell, such as zzz and click Replace.

Method 2

Replace the contents of multiple cells that contain text entries that begin with apostrophes. To do this, use the following Visual Basic for Applications procedure to remove hidden leading apostrophes from a selected range of cells. 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.
   ' Removes hidden apostrophes as first character
   ' Works on formulas as well as text and values

   Sub RemoveApostrophe()

       For Each CurrentCell In Selection
           If CurrentCell.HasFormula = False Then

               'Checks to make sure that procedure does not
               'change cell with a formula to be only the value
               CurrentCell.Formula = CurrentCell.Value
           End If
       Next

   End Sub
				

Method 3

Replace the contents of a single cell, or multiple cells that contain text that begins with an apostrophe character. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In an empty cell on the worksheet, type the value 1.
  2. Select the cell that contains the value 1, and click Copy on the Edit menu.
  3. Select the cells that contain the text that you want to replace, and then click Paste Special on the Edit menu.
  4. Under Paste, click Values. Under Operation, click Multiply, and then click OK.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
Keywords: 
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