Finding/Searching for Data

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Performing Standard Data Operations > Finding/Searching for Data


Finding and Searching for data in a table is a cornerstone of all data analysis.  Strata provides two ways to find data -- a "Quick" Find and a more customizable Find panel.



Using Quick Find


The Quick Find can be found on the toolbar at the top right of your screen and shares the same "Find/Filter" criteria box as the Quick Filter utility.




The above picture shows an standard data set.  However, if we wanted to quickly find a cell that contained "ABC", we could simply enter "ABC" into the Find box and click on the "Find Next" icon as shown below:





One of the nice features of the quick find is that it will accept broad criteria than is necessary when performing most data operations, which require precise formulas.  For example, we could use the find criteria "ABC" or "abc" or AbC" and still get the same result (for matching by case or whole word, see the section "Using the Find Panel" below).


By default, the quick find will find any data in your data set.  However, if you want to be more specific, you may just highlight the field(s) you where you want to find your data and the quick find will limit the criteria to those selected fields.


The quick find also offers a mechanism for entering in custom Boolean formulas, similar to what you can do with other data operations:




In this example, we've created a formula so that, when we click "Find Next," we see only the records that match this formula.


Lastly, you may use the Find Next icon to move forward in your search results or you may just tap the Enter key.  Hold down the Shift key and press Enter key to Find Previous results.


NOTE:  When matching using a Boolean formula, Find Next will take you to the next record which matches the find criteria, not the specific cell as with standard matching.



Using the Find Panel



Sometime it is useful to have additional tools to help find items, including the ability to match upon the case of the word and matching on the entire word as well as finding in different contexts.  To use the find panel, select "Find" from the Edit menu.




The Find panel works similarly to the Quick Find as discussed above.  However it also provides three modes and two further options to narrow your search:


Find in Files Mode:  This mode enables you to do a find within text files internal or external to the software.  So, for example, if you have a *.txt file on your computer, you can search that document within the software.
Find in Current Window Mode:  This mode functions like the Quick Find as discussed above, where you can perform a find operation in the document you are currently working with.
Find and Replace Mode:  This mode enables you to perform find and replace operations within scripts.
Match Case Option:  This criteria narrows your search to specific instances of upper or lower case letters. For instance, if you search for "Apple" with Match Case off, it will find all instances of Apple regardless of case (e.g., "Apple", "APple", "APpLE"). With Match Case selected, the search will be narrowed to finding instances of "Apple" only.
Match Whole Word Option:  This criteria narrows your search to full strings within a cell. For instance, if you search for "A" with Match Whole Cells off, it will find all instances of "A" in all cells regardless of whether "A" is combined with other characters (e.g., "A", "ABC", "CAT", "1234A"). With Match Whole Word selected, the search will be narrowed to finding instances of "A" only.


NOTE:  The criteria selected in the Find Panel will determine how the Quick Find/Filter box behaves.  For instance, if the Match Case is checked in the Find Panel and then the Quick Find box is used later, all Quick Finds and Quick Filters will be limited to the Case used in your criteria.



Formatting Considerations for Number and Date Searches


The above discussion has focused on text (character) searches.  Below is further considerations to keep in mind for Number and Date searching:


Number Searches: To search for numeric fields, you must remove any non-decimal place formatting (such as commas that denote thousands) that you may see on screen. For example, if a cell in your table contains the value 1,234.56, the search term required to find this is 1234.56. Entering a comma (1,234.56) will cause the Find tool to ignore numeric fields and only search character/text fields for that exact string.
Date Searches: To search within a date field, you must use proper date formatting to find a desired date. A proper date format uses a delimiter, such a slash (/) or period (.) between each section of the date. Further, you must search for the entire date string (e.g., 12/12/2004) and not a partial date string (e.g., 12/12) to get a valid result. Any numeric or character searches such as "12122004" will cause the Find tool to search through numeric or character fields but ignore all date fields.