Keyboard shortcuts are great and I'm used to many of them in my workflow - one of these is using the Ctrl + A combination to select the entire content of the text box that's currently focused. However, for some reason I found that this doesn't work when trying to search via Find and Replace (Ctrl + F) in Microsoft Excel.

This is not initially an issue when first opening the Find and Replace dialog since the content is automatically selected - however, if you look for something but then need to find something else, the Ctrl + A shortcut just doesn't work - and I keep forgetting that and usually find out just when I've typed a bunch of gibberish and pressed Enter to get a warning message that no results had been found.

It looks like Ctrl + Home does the job - however, this isn't convenient since I'd need to drop the mouse, find the Home button which, unfortunately, I do not have muscle memory of, so I have to look down to the keyboard, grab the mouse again and then carry on as usual.

Is there a shortcut that replaces Ctrl + A or is there a way to enable Ctrl + A in the Find and Replace dialog of Excel? If not, is there a specific reason for this?

EDIT: I tested on another machine and Ctrl + A works fine in the Find and Replace dialog so it looks like a local issue. I'll update this question if I find the culprit.


As far as I know there is not a way to enable Ctrl+A for the Find/Replace dialog.

Press End then either:

  1. Shift+Home, or
  2. Ctrl+Shift+

Another option is to move the focus to another object on the dialog and then returning to the text box using either

  1. Tab, then Shift+Tab, which would move the focus to "Options" when it's not expanded, then back to the text box, or to "Format", when the options are expanded, then back to text box, or
  2. Shift+Tab then Tab, which would move the focus to the "Find" tab, then back to the text box.

In all four of these cases, all text in the text box would be selected and ready for you to type over.

  • I just found out that on another PC with another version of Office Ctrl + A works fine. Until I find out what the difference between the two versions of Excel is, Tab + Shift + Tab is a great workaround. – Elhitch Jan 31 at 8:36

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