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Changing Multiple Cells at Once

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Changing Multiple Cells at Once.

David has several non-adjacent cells that each contain the same formula. He needs to change the formula in all the cells to something else. He knows he can change the formula in one of the cells and then copy the formula to the other cells, but he's wondering if there is a way to change the formula in all the cells at the same time, without the need to do the copy/paste operation.

If you want to retype the formula from scratch, Excel actually provides a shortcut to do this: Ctrl+Enter. All you need to do is create a selection set of the cells you want to edit. (Selection sets are created by clicking on a single cell then, as you hold down the Ctrl key, clicking on other cells you want included in the set.) Type the formula you want to appear in each cell in the set, then press Ctrl+Enter.

If you want to change an existing formula in the cells, simply create your selection set of those cells and then use Find and Replace to search for the formula you want to change. You can easily click on Replace All in the dialog box to change all the cells at once. (Remember—this approach will only work properly if the formulas in the cells are all exactly the same.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11923) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing Multiple Cells at Once.

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