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New! Excel 2013 Lets You View Spreadsheets Side-by-Side in Separate Windows

Excel 2013 side-by-side spreadsheet comparisonIf you’ve been considering an upgrade to Office 2013 from Office 2007 or Office 2010, there’s one feature that is definitely worthwhile: Excel 2013 now displays multiple open spreadsheets in their own window, which lets you view them side-by-side, snap them to either side of the screen, etc.  You’d think the ability to easily compare workbooks side-by-side would have made it in to one of the eight major releases over the last 28 years.  But the fact that we had to write a tutorial on How to View Excel 2010 Spreadsheets Side-by-Side for Comparison proves that the functionality wasn’t exactly intuitive.

Fortunately, with Excel 2013, there’s no need to fuss around in the View ribbon. Simply open two Excel spreadsheets and snap them to either side of the screen. Easy!

excel2013

how to view two excel spreadsheets side-by-side

The View ribbon is still available, as is the View Side by Side option. To use it, open two spreadsheets, then click View –> View Side by Side.

arrange all and view side by side in excel

By default, this will arrange your windows horizontally.

arrange excel spreadsheets horizontally

You may want to collapse the ribbon (CTRL + F1) to get a little bit more viewing space.

collapse ribbon in excel 2013

To arrange the windows differently, click Arrange All.

arrange windows tiled vertically cascade in excel 2013

This will give you a few different options: Tiled, Horizontal, Vertical and Cascade.

arange windows of active workbook excel 2013

While you’re here, also try Synchronous Scrolling. This synchronizes your windows scroll bar so you can scroll both of them at once. You must have View Side by Side enabled for this to work.

synchronous scrolling in excel 2013

Conclusion

Okay, granted, this feature isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But if you knew how many times someone at my office has asked “How the heck do you view two Excel spreadsheets at once?” then you’d appreciate this subtle, yet much needed change just as much as I do.

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2 Responses to New! Excel 2013 Lets You View Spreadsheets Side-by-Side in Separate Windows

  1. Brian Burgess March 5, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    You know, often times it’s those “little things” that make a huge difference in software. This is definitely one of them!

    • DWells June 17, 2016 at 9:30 am #

      Has anyone had problems with the documents synchronous between unrelated but open documents without selecting this option?

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