Need some help searching through various Excel files

BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseurThere's no place like 127.0.0.1
edited January 2009 in Science & Tech
So I've done all of my dad's invoices in Excel. Page full of job numbers, airway bill numbers, dates and prices. Each invoice has been made in separate documents. Now at the end of the year my dad wants the ability to search all the invoices for a single job number and it's associated date and price. He'll be searching for various job numbers, so is there any way to do that without opening up every invoice and hitting Ctrl+F?

Comments

  • steadyfluxsteadyflux Maryland
    edited January 2009
    Kind of a low-tech suggestion, but you could probably get by using a free tool like BareGrep. Basically, you can specify a directory, a file name type (like "*.xls") and a specific string to search for "8675309". Might look a little messy because of the weirdness of Excel files, but ultimately, it should do the trick.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited January 2009
    Are these job numbers unknown, or does he have an index? I'm not quite understanding the search that needs to be done. If the job numbers are known - outside of the .xls files, you could simply perform a search in whatever folder/partition you've stored the invoices. Such as: right click on folder/partition, select Search, select "All or part of a file name," then enter *123xyz*.xls
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1
    edited January 2009
    The job numbers are known, but they're in the invoices a long with a hundred others.

    Ok, let me explain this a bit better. My dad thinks there's a discrepancy in what they've paid him. We send an invoice with all the job numbers, dates and prices. They send us back a check and a long with it, the job numbers they have paid us for. My dad wants to find out if there are job numbers they haven't paid us for and/or if they've paid us for jobs that weren't even ours to begin with. He would have a list of job numbers in his hand and he wants to just type in the job number and have it come up with the invoice # and if possible, date and price.
  • kryystkryyst Ontario, Canada
    edited January 2009
    If you use windows built in search feature you can search for text within a file. Given how you've set things up that's the easiest way to do it.

    Moving forward you may want to consider investing in some accounting software like Quick Books for example, it'd make this much easier for you. Alternatively instead of using excel you should be doing this in database software, Access or OpenOffice Base for example. Basically the point I'm trying to make is that for what your dad needs to do you want to keep all the information in one source that can be indexed and have queries run against it so these sorts of searches and more are easy to do.

    Plus come tax time something like Quickbooks would make things so much easier.
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1
    edited January 2009
    Well I can already do a simple search. I uploaded a year's worth of invoices to Google Documents and there it lets me search within the invoices. Just type in a job number and it'll give you the invoice it's located in but not much else. You still have to open the document and search within it. It's a start.

    As for Quickbooks, yeah someone told me about it already, I guess I'll check it out. Thanks for the info.
  • kryystkryyst Ontario, Canada
    edited January 2009
    Yes any of the searches will just point you to a file where the data resides you'd still have to open the file to get to the rest of the info. With the way you've done it there is no other way.
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