How to Search for Workbooks in Excel 2010

If you want to open a workbook in Excel 2010 but can't remember the filename or location, you can use the Search feature in Microsoft Windows to find the missing workbook. To use the Search feature, you only need to remember a portion of the filename or some of the text contained within the workbook.

Searching for workbooks when running Excel 2010 on Windows 7 or Vista

When you run Excel 2010 under Windows 7 or Vista, the operating system adds a Search Documents text box (simply called Search in Vista) to the Open dialog box. You can use this text box to search for missing workbooks from within the dialog box.

Follow these steps to use the Windows 7 or Vista Search feature to find a workbook:

  1. Click the File tab and choose Open.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Search Documents (Windows 7) or Search (Windows Vista) text box in the upper-right corner of the Open dialog box and then type characters used in the workbook's filename or contained in the workbook itself.

    As Windows 7 or Vista finds any matches for the characters you type, the names of the workbook files (and other Excel files, such as templates and macro sheets) appear in the Open dialog box.

    Use the Search Documents text box in the Open dialog box to quickly search for any Excel workbook o
    Use the Search Documents text box in the Open dialog box to quickly search for any Excel workbook on your computer.
  3. When the workbook you want to open appears in the list box, select the file and click the Open button or double-click the file's icon.

Searching for workbooks when running Excel 2010 on Windows XP

Unfortunately, if you use Windows XP, the Open dialog box in Excel 2010 doesn't have a search feature built into it. This means that to search for missing workbooks, you have to do it outside of Excel by using Windows XP's search feature.

To use the Windows XP Search feature to find a workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button on the Windows XP taskbar and then click Search in the right column of the Start menu.

    Windows opens a Search Results dialog box.

  2. Click the Documents link in the left panel of the Search Results dialog box.

  3. Click the All or Part of the Document Name text box and then type the filename or the part of the name that you're sure of.

    You can type an asterisk (*) for multiple missing characters and a question mark (?) for single missing characters that you can't supply in the workbook filename to help narrow your search.

  4. Click the Search button to have Windows XP begin searching for the workbook file.

    Windows displays all the workbook files that match your search criteria in the list box on the right side of the Search Results dialog box.

  5. When you locate the workbook file you want to open in Excel, double-click the filename.

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