How to Open Up Two Excel Documents Side by side

Feb 2011

How to Open Up Two Excel Documents Side by side

comment icon58 comment(s) |

Have you ever had to look at two excel documents at the same time? By default it will open the excel documents in different tabs in the same window. It can get pretty annoying if you really need to see both at the same time.

Luckily, there is a little trick you can do so you can see both at the same time. Go ahead and open one document like normal. To open the next document, go to start and click run. In the run box type "excel" and then press enter. This will open up a completely different excel window. In that window you can open whatever document you need. You can also drag any excel file onto that window to open it.

Now you can view both documents at one, and maybe even use windows 7 new snap feature to see them even easier.


March 1, 2011


Nice tip Trey! I never though

Nice tip Trey! I never thought to try to open up a new instance of Excel then open/create a workbook. It's super annoying with dual monitors trying to get two spreadsheets on different monitors but with this tip you can. Thanks!

December 4, 2011


So easy by comparison with

So easy by comparison with other ways advocated.


September 26, 2012




March 2, 2011



I'm a keyboard shortcut guy, so I just:

  • Hit WIN+R
  • Type EXCEL
  • Hit ENTER

Done! Good tip Trey.

March 3, 2011

Matthew Chandler

Even easier

Snap it to your Win7 task bar & hold shift while clicking shortcut to open a new instance of that application.

If you're like me and you have excel on your task bar, this is much easier than opening a command prompt.

April 22, 2011



You're my new hero, that makes it so much easier.

September 27, 2011


excel side by side

this worked perfectly

November 4, 2011

Stanislav Zholnin

Alternative way

To be objective, there is some downside to the method described, so be conscious about it:

  • copying and pasting between different instances of Excel is handled in a different way than within the same instance. So you might get unexpected results.
  • if two books open are cross-linked, they will not be updating on recalculations. In order for one instance to see updated made in the other instance you need to a) save the book b) press "Update outside links" in the other.

There is one alternative way, without downsides described, but a little bit less convenient:

  • Manually widen Excel windon on two screens (first need to get rid of "full screen" window mode, then manually drag it across the window.) As a result you'll get single document window across two screens.
  • Then, within excel adjust your documents to occupy its own screen by using "windows -> Tile" or manually.

Hope that helps.


October 27, 2013

Allan Hizon

The alternative way worked great.

Thanks for the alternative suggestion (the 2nd). It worked!
I used it to tally raw scores on one sheet then automatically update a scoreboard displayed to the audience.

January 24, 2012


Fantastic !!!

Thank you so much... I gave up on doing this years ago, so glad my recent internet search brought me here. Cannot thank you enough !

April 15, 2012



Went to the Microsoft website, no help there. But your tip was very helpful.
Win+R> and excel.

I have a suggestion for your webpage, keep the comment form in the page itself, NO need to keep a link to comment and please remove the Captcha. It discourages a reader from posting comments. Spam guards like Askimet are good enough to catch 99% of spam.

May 1, 2012


Excel - two doc

Thank you so much for this tip. It worked and it was soooo simple.

May 3, 2012


Wow! All this time I have

Wow! All this time I have been greatly annoyed with not being able to open two different instances of Excel for side by side comparison. I looked everywhere, tried everything, and pretty much gave up hope. Today - I found your site - and life is butterflies, hearts and flowers again! Thank you for the tip! You have changed my Excel life!

May 29, 2012


Great. Thanks.

Great. Thanks.

June 2, 2012



thanks alot for such tip before i tried too much but i couldnt open two excel workbooks in diffrent windows and your tip superb

June 8, 2012


Excel on Dual monitors

How do you "edit" the spreadsheets open on dual monitors?

June 8, 2012

Trey Lester

RE: Excel on Dual monitors

Not sure what you mean. If you click on either document you should be able to start editing them.

June 18, 2012


nice one! big thanks!

nice one! big thanks!

June 19, 2012

Maurício Martins

Powerful Tip.

Powerful Tip.

July 24, 2012


Two different worksheets on dual monitors

YOUR SOLUTION IS WONDERFUL! Simple and it works! I love it.

July 28, 2012


Excel - Tabs

I want to work with two different sheets of the same excel file on two different screens, how can I do this

July 30, 2012

Trey Lester

Excel - Tabs

The easiest way to accomplish this is by saving a copy of the excel file. You can then open them on two different screens using the method above.

August 1, 2012


Side by Side Excel docs

Thank you Thank you Thank you, you saved me so much time with this little Run tip!

September 4, 2012

Todd Varnas

It works, thank you! :)

It works, thank you! :)

September 6, 2012

Abhinav Gupta

Thank You

Thanks a lot for that tip! I had been struggling to do that for ages and finally came across your neat little trick!
You've helped a lot of managers here!


September 18, 2012


Nice tip

Very nice tip. This was bothering me for a while. Thank you very much!

September 27, 2012


Thank you!

Thanks so much for this tip! I have been struggling with it for a while and need to look at two Xcell docs at a time. You've save me so much time.

October 2, 2012


Regarding tabs

If you want to view the same file twice (top and bottom for instance) you can press the View->New window. You now have to instances of the same file within one instance of excel. Press arrange all to... well... arrange them.

October 15, 2012

Giona Pedditzi

Thank you so much Trey, It

Thank you so much Trey,

It has been very difficult to do it up to now but you have nailed it!

Great work and God bless


November 1, 2012


Great! It was very useful!

Great! It was very useful!

November 1, 2012



You are my HERO!!! Thanks so much for the tip..this makes my life so much easier.

November 9, 2012



Made my day!

November 14, 2012




November 28, 2012



OMG I cannot believe this worked. My colleague and I just tried it and we were thinking this was too good to be true. Sure enough, it worked! He'd been researching on google for a while till he was finally stressed and decided to ask me LOL. He ran off the instant it worked. I assumed to go tell others LOL. Now he owes me a carrot cake! THANK YOU!!

November 30, 2012


Usefull technik

wow quick and easy skill

Thank you

December 5, 2012


Perfect! Thank you!!!!!

Perfect! Thank you!!!!!

January 15, 2013


Nice Tip!

This was very simple and super helpful. Thanks for the tip!

January 19, 2013


2 excel files same monitor....Side by side

Great guide / instructions...everyone else is very confusing to figure out...

Thank you

January 24, 2013


Awesome tip. I have been so

Awesome tip. I have been so annoyed by having to toggle between workbooks in Excel. This made my life a lot easier!

February 5, 2013


How to Open Up Two Excel Documents Side by side

Verry good thanks now this old mans life will be a lot better from now on thanks again

February 13, 2013


Thank you Trey, I just

Thank you Trey, I just Googled this question and came across your answer.

February 25, 2013



I LOVE YOU! You just made my life so so so much easier!

March 22, 2013


Opening up 2 Excel spreadsheets at the same time

Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! I operate 2 screens all the time and will soon be adding a third. Most of my work is Excel spreadsheeting. You have saved me sooooooooo much time. Thank you so much - Excellent tip

March 26, 2013


Thank you for the tip. Now we

Thank you for the tip. Now we can have Excel behaving just like Word!
All other guides regarding this issue, don't actually give such a good solution.

April 11, 2013

DeeDee B

How to Open Up Two Excel Documents Side by side

Thanks so much Trey. This is a simple, handy little trick. Love it.

April 29, 2013


Was able to help my wife with

Was able to help my wife with her excel straight away. Thanks for the tip mate.

May 2, 2013


A quicker method

  1. Create a short-cut for excel
  2. Find your "Send To" directory
  3. Place the short-cut in the "Send To" Directory.

From now on, when a file is required to be openned in a new instance of excel, use "right-button" "Send to " "Excel"

June 6, 2013



I knew there was as simple way to do such with Excel, and I'm not sure the one I used to implement is the same as the one you've described, but your tip is definitely quick and easy.

I don't know why Excel has this limitation. Other Microsoft documents can be opened simultaneously and put side by side for comparison, etc.

Thanks again. It's the little things, added together, that can make a considerable difference at times.

September 10, 2013


It is such an useful tip as I

It is such an useful tip as I usually face this issue when working with 02 excel files at the same time.

Thanks a lot, Trey

January 10, 2014

Gurunadha Rao

Superb.....................trick and it is very much useful................

July 10, 2014


This tip worked great.

This tip worked great. Thanks.

July 25, 2014


your xl side by side opening solution

Simple and Superb solution, its helped me a lot

July 25, 2014


Excellent respnse, it works

Excellent respnse, it works and not complicated like other ones posted on the WEB------still microsoft should fix it

August 29, 2014


Thank you very much!

Thank you very much! struggled with this the whole week! :)

December 31, 2014


Thanks man.

Thanks man.

April 22, 2015


How to Open Up Two Excel Documents Side by side

Why when you try to drag the second excel file to the blank second excel window from Outlook it doesn't work?

May 14, 2015


Amazing Answer.. Been stuck

Amazing Answer.. Been stuck on this for a whole year.. wish I googled this earlier.

Thanks a heap!

June 29, 2015


Two excel screens open at the same time

Opening new window to have two excel spread sheets open at the same time was the best advice ever. Thanks you.