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Taking Advantage of TextFinder for Google Spreadsheet

Taking Advantage of TextFinder for Google Spreadsheet

There is Class TextFinder in Spreadsheet service for Google Apps Script. Ref The TextFinder can search and replace the texts in the Spreadsheet using Google Apps Script. There is the method for createTextFinder in Class Spreadsheet, Class Sheet and Class Range. When these methods are used, you can search and replace the texts for all sheets in a Spreadsheet, the specific sheet, and the specific range in the specific sheet.

In this post, I would like to introduce the sample scripts for taking advantage of TextFinder.

I think that TextFinder is the strong method for searching values in Google Spreadsheet. Ref So I think that when this can be taken advantage of, the process cost of the script will become low.

Sample script 1

This sample search searchText from all cells of all sheets in a Google Spreadsheet. And the result value is returned as the range list including A1Notation.

const searchText = "sample";
const rangeList = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => `'${r.getSheet().getSheetName()}'!${r.getA1Notation()}`);
console.log(rangeList);
  • When replaceAllWith("updatedText") is used instead of findAll(), all searched cells are replaced with updatedText.

Sample script 2

This sample search searchText from all cells of the specific sheet in a Google Spreadsheet. And the result value is returned as the range list including A1Notation.

const searchText = "sample";
const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const rangeList = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => r.getA1Notation());
console.log(rangeList);
  • When replaceAllWith("updatedText") is used instead of findAll(), all searched cells are replaced with updatedText.

Sample script 3

This sample search searchText from the specific range on the specific sheet in a Google Spreadsheet. And the result value is returned as the range list including A1Notation.

const searchText = "sample";
const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const range = "A1:A10";
const rangeList = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .getRange(range)
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => r.getA1Notation());
console.log(rangeList);

When this sample sheet is used, ["A4","A7","A8"] is retrieved.

Sample script 4

TextFinder can also search the texts using the regex. This sample search regex from the specific sheet in a Google Spreadsheet. In this case, the cells which don't have the text of sample in the top letter are retrieved. And the result value is returned as the range list including A1Notation. This result is the opposite result from "Sample script 3".

const regex = "^(?!sample).+$";
const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const range = "A1:A10";
const rangeList = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .getRange(range)
  .useRegularExpression(true)
  .createTextFinder(regex)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => r.getA1Notation());
console.log(rangeList);

When this sample sheet is used, ["A1","A2","A3","A5","A6","A9","A10"] is retrieved.

Sample script 5

This sample search searchText from all cells of all sheets in a Google Spreadsheet. And when searchText is found, true is returned. When that is not found, false is returned.

const searchText = "sample";
const search = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findNext()
  ? true
  : false;
console.log(search);
  • This situation can be also achieved for the specific sheet and the specific range.

Sample script 6

This sample script searches the 1st empty cell of the specific column of the active sheet. When ^$ is used as the regex for TextFinder, the empty cells can be retrieved. This sample script retrieves the 1st empty cell of the specific column.

const columnNumber = 2; // 2 is column "B".
const sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
const search = sheet
  .getRange(1, columnNumber, sheet.getMaxRows())
  .createTextFinder("^$")
  .useRegularExpression(true)
  .matchEntireCell(true)
  .findNext();
const rowNumber = search ? search.getRow() : sheet.getLastRow() + 1;
console.log(rowNumber);

Sample script 7

This sample script searches the cells including test from "A1:A10" of the active sheet, and the values of searched cells are retrieved.

const searchText = "test";
const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const range = "A1:A10";
const values = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .getRange(range)
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .useRegularExpression(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => r.getValue());
console.log(values);

When this script is used for the large range and the many sheets, the process cost will become high. In that case, you can reduce the process cost by using Sheets API as follows. When you use the following sample script, please enable Sheets API at Advanced Google services. Ref When Sheets API is used, the values can be retrieved from the individual cell ranges by one API call.

const searchText = "test";
const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const range = "A1:A10";
const ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
const ranges = ss
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .getRange(range)
  .createTextFinder(searchText)
  .useRegularExpression(true)
  .findAll()
  .map((r) => `'${sheetName}'!${r.getA1Notation()}`);
const values = Sheets.Spreadsheets.Values.batchGet(ss.getId(), {
  ranges,
}).valueRanges.flatMap(({ values }) => values.flat());
console.log(values);

When this sample sheet is used, for both scripts, the values of [ 'A_testa4', 'A_testa6', 'A_testa8' ] are retrieved.

Sample script 8

The sample input and output situations are as follows.

Input situation

This value is put to the cell "A1" of "Sheet1".

sample=sample1,sample=sample2,sample=sample3

Output situation

The above value of the cell "A1" are changed to the following situation.

(sample1,sample2,sample3)

Sample script

The sample script for achieving above situation is as follows.

const sheetName = "Sheet1";
SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .getSheetByName(sheetName)
  .getRange("A1")
  .createTextFinder("sample\\=(.+),sample\\=(.+),sample\\=(.+)")
  .useRegularExpression(true)
  .replaceAllWith("($1,$2,$3)");
  • At the replace text of TextFinder, the group can be used.

References

@Bakr-Ali
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Bakr-Ali commented Oct 5, 2022

Hello!
Thanks for the detailed write up!

I am trying to find the first equal sign = in all the formulas in the sheet and replace them with a backtick and equal `= but I couldn't figure out how. Could you please help me?

Here is my code so far:

  var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
  var textFinder = sheet.createTextFinder("^=").matchCase(false).useRegularExpression(true);
  textFinder.replaceAllWith("`=");

Edit: never mind, I found the issue; I have to add .matchFormulaText(true).
Thanks again for the examples.

@smentes
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smentes commented May 9, 2023

Hello,
need a bit help. i have just developed an user entry form with 9 input areas. now want to add new sheet to my workbook and then want to search, find and exact value from this list and fill the my input area with this. I am a bit lost. the first thing how to add a formula to data input area , second which function or script etter for this purpose. i have tried vlookp, search but could nt do that. need some clues pls.

@Dmytro2V
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Great article, so clear and step by step.
Think script 7 still uses sheet name, while announced an active sheet.
"This sample script searches the cells including test from "A1:A10" of the active sheet, and the values of searched cells are retrieved".

const sheetName = "Sheet1";
const range = "A1:A10";
const values = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  .**getSheetByName**(sheetName)```

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