View Excel workbooks side by side

In this article you will find how to compare two spreadsheets by viewing them simultaneously in Excel 2016, 2013 and 2010

You'd like to compare two Excel worksheets and need to open and see them side by side. However simple it may seem, each time they appear in the same window. That's frustrating! So we will show you how to view two Excel files (.xls or .xlsx) side by side in this step by step tip. You may want to choose one of the following options:

  • Open and view two workbooks/worksheets side by side in the same window:
    • see two different workbooks at the same time
    • view two different spreadsheets of the same Excel book at once
  • Or you may want to see two or more workbooks in several windows.

Find it on the View tab

Let's begin with the first option. As a start, open the two workbooks you want to compare. You can see now that there are two task-bar buttons for Excel. Whichever workbook you click, it appears in the same window. Find the Window section on the View tab and then click View Side by Side.

The View tab in Microsoft Excel 2010

Select this option to view two spreadsheets side by<br /> side

Arrange the sheets to your liking

By default, this will show your spreadsheets in separate panes horizontally. You may want to change the orientation. So you can click the Arrange All button and choose Vertical to have your tables side by side in the left-hand and the right-hand columns.

Click the Arrange All button and choose Vertical

There is one more option that you may like. Click Synchronous Scrolling to scroll down both spreadsheets at the same time and compare the differences.

Click Synchronous Scrolling to scroll down both<br /> spreadsheets

Excel will remember your last side by side view selection to open future files.

Sometimes it is necessary to view several sheets of one and the same Excel workbook. So all you need is to open this workbook and click the New Window button on the View tab. Then pick the View side by side option. You can click New Window again to view as many spreadsheets of the same workbook as you need.

Click this button to open one more copy of the same workbook

See two or more workbooks in several Excel windows

You may want to see several Excel workbooks in different windows. It can be really handy if you've got two monitors. So first open one file. Then run one more copy of Excel from the Start menu. As a result you will be able to open another workbook in this new window and modify it to your liking.

We hope this snap tip will help everyone compare data from two workbooks or worksheets.

See also

33 responses to "View Excel workbooks side by side"

  1. Sandy says:

    Or you can open up another sesssion of Excel 2010....

  2. DINAKAR says:


  3. srikanth says:

    How to view two sheets vertically in the same file ?

  4. LA says:

    How do you undo this feature? I don't want to view the worksheets side by side anymore, but Excel remembers this setup every time I restart the program.
    Thank you!

  5. justmeok says:

    reply to srikanth

    Open new window then change that to the second sheet you want to view and then view side by side

  6. justmeok says:

    Reply to LA

    Before closing excel, close the second worksheet and just have one open. click save and excel should remember your standard layout.

  7. justmeok says:

    Thanks Maria, this solved my problem in excel 2003, very much appreciated :)

  8. cooper says:

    Once I have selected Arrange All to see my 2 excel files side by side, is there an easy way to reverse which one is on the left & right? Is there a quick keystroke to reverse these? Right now, I am manually reversing their position, but I have to make sure they are fit correctly to the space.

    • Alexander says:

      Regrettably, there is no such shortcut, at least I don't know any. The active book, one in which you clicked the Arrange All button, is always on the left (or at the top if you align horizontally).

      To reverse the order, switch to the other workbook (one that is on the right or at the bottom), and click the Arrange All button there. Alternatively, switch to the right-hand file, press Alt+W, hold Alt and press A, then press V, release Alt and press Enter.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does NOT show how to open two separate spreedsheets when you have to Monitors.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Very nice

  11. YJ says:

    I have a number of files open but only want to view 2 of them side by side and I don't want to close the others as I am still working with them. If I choose arrange all, ALL the files show up side by side. Can I not just change the default orientation of "view side by side" from horizontal to vertical?

  12. James says:

    In a workbook with several sheets, I have only the 1st column for customers the same , but the remaining are different data for same customer , so when I jump between sheets, the columns should jump to same in all sheets. the number of columns is more than 500 & so the requirement.

  13. t says:

    This is actually an incredibly frustrating automatic feature. Excel recently made it impossible to open two excel spreadsheets in separate windows and now force you to use this view feature. not only does it add numerous extra steps to just simple view to sheets side by side but it also makes things incredibly frustrating if you are working with over 10 spreadsheets at a time.

    personally this is one of the worst parts of excel I am yet to experience

  14. santosh says:

    How to filter those sheets at a time

  15. Utpal Dutta says:


  16. ZAFAR ALI says:

    nice plz send me others same like issue solutions.

  17. Cristy says:

    Hi, I am currently using excel 2013. The features View Side by Side, Synchronous Scrolling, and Reset Window Position are all greyed out. Any idea how to remedy this where those features can be utilized?

    • Hello, Cristy,

      To make these options active, you need to open more than 1 Excel file.
      If you want to view several sheets of one and the same Excel workbook, please open this workbook and click the New Window button on the View tab. Then pick the View side by side option.

      Hope this will work for you.

  18. Danny says:

    Thanks a lot for making my worker faster ^&^

  19. Mariam Kallon says:

    I have worked on one of the document and save, how do I remove the duplicated work sheet if i don't want it?

  20. Bobbi says:

    When I try to type numbers from one open "side by side" work book from the other, the work book I am typing the numbers FROM disappears. I need to work on both open work books at the same time. I don't just need to view them side by side, I need to work on them while both workbooks are open.

  21. Sayyid Aabid Al Haidroosi says:

    Nice. Very Useful notifications

  22. Kamanshu says:

    Thanks for the help! very useful info.

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