How To Compare Two MS Excel Files Side By Side

How To Compare Two MS Excel Files Side By Side

At the end of every month I have this nagging headache where I have to take two different printouts of the same monthly invoice, one sent by my manager and the other maintained by me and almost undoubtedly every month there exist disparity between the data. So, my month end chore remains taking two printouts then sitting down with my mother with a highlighter, scale and pencils and working on comparing the two to identify the problem fast. This is because, like every other work-o-holic a month’s end is a whirlwind of calculations, planning and financial obligations waiting to be checked for me and time is something I would choose not to spare with a high stake of insanity  riding behind it.

Each month I also sit to work out how I can do this fast and without taking the two extra printouts by simply getting the work done on my screen without disturbing my mother. But that seldom happens. However, today finally I learnt how to do so and would like to share the insight with you.


Using the view side by side mode:

To view two different Excel Workbooks side by side so that you can manually read and compare the entered data, follow these easy steps:

ü  Open both the excel workbooks

ü  Then go to the view ribbon

ü  Click on the view side by side option to enable

ü  If promoted then select the other file as well

Make sure the synchronous scrolling is enabled.

To make sure it is easily readable follow these steps:

You must split the Excel window vertically to be able to read and compare side by side.

  • Go to the view ribbon
  • Then click on the option Arrange All
  • Then select vertical

This will result in two separate Excel windows opened side by side with in synch scrolling to be able to produce similar results for ease of manual comparing, as you would if you compared to separate sheets of paper side by side.

How to compare data in 2 different sheets located in the same file or excel sheet?

For instance, there may be the monthly reports stored in the same workbook as different sheets. So, how to compare the data to determine trends or progress?

When in such a scenario, follow these Excel tips:

  • Open the file
  • Go to the view ribbon
  • Then click on new window. (doing this will open the same file in more than one window of MS Excel)
  • Then enable the view side by side mode
  • Now select Sheet no.1 in the first window and Sheet no.2 in the second one
  • Now start comparing with bliss!