View two or more Excel sheets side by side

Svetlana Cheusheva by , updated on

In this article, you will learn how to open two or more windows side by side in Excel 365, 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010.

When it comes to comparing worksheets in Excel, the most obvious solution is to place tabs next to each other. Luckily, it's as easy as it appears to be :) Just choose the technique that fits your situation:

How to view two Excel sheets side by side

Let's begin with the most common case. If the sheets you want to compare are in the same workbook, here are the steps to place them side by side:

  1. On the View tab, in the Window group, click New Window. This will open another window of the same workbook.
    Open another window of the same workbook.

  2. On the View tab, in the Window group, click View Side by Side.
    View sheets side by side.

  3. In each window, click the desired sheet tab. Done!

The image below shows the default horizontal arrangement. To arrange the tabs vertically, use the Arrange All feature.
Two sheets are arranged horizontally, one above the other.

How to open two Excel files side by side

To view two sheets in different workbooks side by side, this is what you need to do:

  1. Open the files of interest.
  2. On the View tab, in the Window group, click View Side by Side.
  3. In each workbook window, click the tab you want to compare.

In case you have more than two files open, the Compare Side by Side dialog box will pop up asking you to choose the workbook to be compared with the active one.
Select the workbook to be compared with the active one.

How to arrange sheets side-by-side vertically

When using the View Side by Side feature, Excel positions two windows horizontally. To change the default composition, click the Arrange All button on the View tab.
Arrange sheets to your liking

In the Arrange Windows dialog box, select Vertical to place the sheets next to each other.

Or choose another option that suits you best:

  • Tiled - windows are arranged as equally sized squares in the order you opened them.
  • Horizontal - windows are placed one below another.
  • Cascade - windows overlap one another from top to bottom.
  • Choose how to arrange Excel windows.

Excel will remember your selected arrangement and use it the next time.

Synchronous scrolling

One more handy feature that you may like is Synchronous Scrolling. As its name suggests, it allows scrolling both sheets at the same time. The option resides on the View tab, right below View Side by Side, and activates automatically with the latter. To disable synchronous scrolling, just click this button to toggle it off.
Synchronous scrolling

How to view multiple sheets at once

The methods described above work for 2 sheets. To view all sheets at a time, proceed in this way:

  1. Open all the workbooks of interest.
  2. If the sheets are in the same workbook, click the target tab, and then click View tab > New Window.

    Repeat this step for each worksheet that you want to view. If the sheets are in different files, skip this step.

  3. On the View tab, in the Window group, click Arrange All.
  4. In the dialog box that pops up, choose the desired arrangement. When done, click OK to display all open Excel windows the way you've chosen. If you are only interested in the tabs of the current workbook, select the Windows of active workbook check box.

View side by side not working

If the View Side by Side button is greyed out, that means you have just one Excel window open. To activate it, open another file or another window of the same workbook.

If the View side by Side button is active, but nothing happens when you click on it, click the Reset Window Position button on the View tab, in the Windows group.

Reset Window Position

If resetting the position does not help, try this workaround:

  1. Open your first worksheet as you normally would.
  2. Press CTRL + N to open a new Excel window.
  3. In the new window, click File > Open and select your second file.
  4. Click the View Side by Side button.

Useful tips

As a final note, it's worth pointing out a couple of helpful tip-offs:

  • To restore a workbook window to its full size, click the Maximize button Maximize in the upper-right corner.
  • If you resized a workbook window or changed the windows arrangement, and then decided to revert to the default settings, click the Reset Window Position button on the View tab.

These are the fastest ways to view Excel tabs side by side. I thank you for reading and look forward to seeing you on our blog next week!

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