PATools

Help for PATools Advanced Find and Replace

Tip: Use your browser's 'Find' (often Ctrl+F) to search within this page.

 

Using the software

The Basics

The software will search in the selected cells in the worksheet(s) / workbook(s) you specify. If you have not selected a range of cells, then all used cells on each worksheet will be searched.

You can search in either

  • some/all worksheets* in the current workbook
  • all sheets* in selected/all open workbooks
  • all sheets* in selected closed workbooks

* subject to the software being licensed. Under the Evaluation License the software will search in only 3 worksheets per workbook. All evaluation restrictions will immediately cease once your copy is licensed.

Simply make the selections you require and press the appropriate find/replace button. The software is intuitive to use, and looks and feels the same as Excel's built-in functions.

Note: Unlike the built-in functions, there is no undo facility with this software after running Replace.

Special Characters

These are obtained by clicking on * for Find and/or Replace.

The special characters supported are * (asterisk), ? (question mark), ~ (tilde), Tab, Line feed (LF) (manually input into a cell as SHIFT+ENTER), Form feed (FF), Carriage return (CR), Carr return + Line feed (CRLF).

The Summary file

Each time you run a find or replace a summary text file is created. This file will be given a name in the format PATAFRYYDDMM HHMMSS.txt and saved in your temporary file folder (eg c:\windows\temp). This file logs a summary count of the results per worksheet, and logs any errors encountered.

These files are available for copying to a folder of your choice. In addition you can view the last one created at any time by clicking on the "View last summary" button.

To delete all the temporary files created you can use the "Delete old Summary and Tracking files" button, or your general file housekeeping should delete these files regularly. By using the button within this software all but the last Summary file and Tracking data will be deleted.

Further Information

Note: The operation of the tools may be interrupted by pressing ‘Esc’ on the keyboard (followed by the ‘End’ button on screen), but this is not recommended as it causes the software to abort mid-flow without a proper completion, and may leave settings set incorrectly.

 

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Options

Note: If you right-click on the checkboxes you have the option to change the default setting.

1. Screen off will give even more speed by deactivating the screen while the tool runs.

2. Return to start cell will take you back to your original starting position after running find/replace.

3. Tracking will create a new spreadsheet in which it will record the workbook, worksheet, cell, and cell formulae for find/replace. This workbook will be given a name in the format PATAFRYYDDMM HHMMSS.xls and saved in your temporary file folder (eg c:\windows\temp).

These files are available for copying to a folder of your choice. In addition you can view the last one created at any time by clicking on the 'spectacles' button.

Tip: Right-clicking the 'spectacles' button will close the current workbook, so you can open and view the last Tracking data by left-clicking, and then close it by right-clicking.

To delete all the temporary files created you can use the "Delete old Summary and Tracking files" button, or your general file housekeeping should delete these files regularly. By using the button within this software all but the last Summary file and Tracking data will be deleted.

 

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General Notes, Tips and Precautions

1. Although the software is well tested and written, we would recommend as good practice that any data and template workbooks be saved and backed-up before running this software, as it is impossible to protect against every possibility of system crashes, printer problems, etc causing runtime problems that may damage your data.

2. For this, as with any software, the best way to evaluate it and make it work for you is to play with it using dummy data until you become comfortable and are ready to use it for real.


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