How to compare two Excel spreadsheets

Comparing two Excel spreadsheets is useful for analysing the differences and similarities in data. By using the View Side by Side option, you minimise the burden of matching the location of similar data or like categories and increase accuracy in reading factual data needed to make visual comparisons. When you use the option to view two excel spreadsheets next to one another, Excel automatically enables synchronous scrolling. This feature makes it easy to view the exact same information in both spreadsheets at the same time. You can also turn this option off, as needed.

Open Excel and use "File," and then "Open" to open the first file to use for comparison.

While the first document is still open, use "File," and then "Open" to open the second file.

Select the "View" tab, and then select "New Window."

Select "View Side by Side."


To remove synchronous scrolling, click the icon. Turning off this options lets you scroll inside the first document, while the second one remains stationary.


Referring to Step 5, the "Reset Position Window" option only works with a maximum of two open workbooks at a time. When there are more than two, it will reset to comparing the fist two workbooks that were originally opened first, and remove any and all others from the "Compare Side by Side With" position window.

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Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.