Find and replace does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows you to rapidly find information within your data and replace it with whatever you want. So let’s say you have a mistype in your data. One of your respondents is called Alastair, but during data entry you have accidentally spelled it Alasdair. If you have masses of data in your data view it might be difficult to find his entry, but if you hold down the ‘control’ (or ‘ctrl’) button on your keyboard and then click the ‘f’ key, a box will pop up asking you what you would like to find. In the ‘find’ field, write ‘Alasdair’, in the ‘replace’ field, write ‘Alastair’.
Now, your next move depends on the contents of your data. In the ‘match’ section, you will be asked where you would like to look for the information. If your first names are in one column by themselves, you can select ‘entire cell’, which will replace the information in an entire cell. But if your first and surnames are entered into the field, you will need to click ‘begins with’ to replace only the first name.
If you know you have only one Alasdair within your data, click ‘replace all’. This will find and replace all instances of Alasdair. An information box will appear to let you know how many instances were found and replaced. If you are not sure how many Alasdairs you have, click ‘find next’ and keep going through the instances until you find the one you are looking for. Then click ‘replace’. This will ensure not all Alasdairs within your data have their names respelled.
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