Excel - How can I open 2 excel files in two excel windows -using multi mon

Asked By MrAnalog on 11-May-07 04:58 PM
I've got a  3 monitor setup and I'd like to look at two excel spreadsheets in
two instances of excel, each maximized to one monitor.

But when I open multiple spreadsheets they're all just documents within a
MDI type interface so they're all on the same monitor (and I don't want to
extend excel to cover multiple monitors b/c they are different sizes.

Excel 2003

Any thoughts?

Elka replied on 11-May-07 06:50 PM
Start separate instances of Excel first, then open your documents from within
each respective instance.

However, if you really want to be able to open the files in separate
instances from Windows Explorer (doesn't work with desktop icons though),
then follow these steps:

Open Windows Explorer
Select "Tools"
Select "Folder Options"
Select the "File Types" Tab
Scroll down to find and select the XLS extension
Click the "Advanced" Button
Select the "Open" action from the list
Click the "Edit..." Button
Where is says "Application used to perform action:"
If not already there, add:

/e "%1"

to the end of the file path
Uncheck the "Use DDE" box
Click OK
Click OK
Click Close

That should do it.

HelpFrom replied on 11-May-07 06:51 PM
Open Excel then open one workbook.  Open Excel again then open other
workbook.  It works for me in 2003 to get two separate instances of Excel
going that are independent of one another.
MrAnalog replied on 11-May-07 07:36 PM
Thanks to both the respondants.

That's an embarrasingly simple and obvious solution!

HelpFrom replied on 11-May-07 10:43 PM
I wouldn't beat up on myself too much.  The 'normal' use of Excel tend to
lead you away from such a solution.  The fact that some applications only
permit one instance at a time to run (Outlook for instance), lead you further
away.  Just glad we were able to help.
Gord Dibben replied on 12-May-07 12:46 PM

Make note that interacting between two sessions of Excel can cause problems with
some functions.

i.e.  copying and paste or paste special between files gives different results
than when running one session.

Gord Dibben  MS Excel MVP

On Fri, 11 May 2007 16:36:01 -0700, Mr. Analogy
Excel Newbi replied on 06-Aug-07 02:42 PM
I have Excel 2003 running on XP and I'd like to be able to run more than one
Excel application at a time.  It will only let me run one instance with
multiple windows.  Can anyone help me change the settings so I can open
multiple applications at one time?

Gord Dibben replied on 06-Aug-07 03:59 PM
Try Tools>Options>General.

Put a checkmark in "Ignore Other Applications"

Close Excel then double-click on a workbook file.

That should open one instance.

Double-click on another workbook file.

That should open second instance.

Gord Dibben  MS Excel MVP

On Mon, 6 Aug 2007 11:42:02 -0700, Excel Newbie <Excel
woodm replied on 16-Aug-07 12:55 PM
Be advised that if you click this box in the Excel options it will
cause an issue with opening Excel attachments from Outlook.

efi replied on 10-Oct-07 04:57 PM
Is it possible to put two excel TABS in different windows?
Dave Peterson replied on 10-Oct-07 05:51 PM
Two windows in the same instance of excel?

Window|New window
Window|Arrange Tiled (or horizontal or vertical)
Check "windows of active workbook"

When you decide to close one of these windows, select the window to close and
hit ctrl-w.


Dave Peterson
vijay replied on 14-Nov-07 06:53 AM

when i did this like tools=options-genral-ignore the "ignore other application" it should not work, just like blank message..

I have tried this below option it works fantastic..

Open Windows Explorer

Select "Tools"

Select "Folder Options"

Select the "File Types" Tab

Scroll down to find and select the XLS extension

Click the "Advanced" Button

Select the "Open" action from the list

Click the "Edit..." Button

Where is says "Application used to perform action:"

/e "%1"

to the end of the file path

Brianna Winn replied on 03-Sep-08 02:24 PM

That is what i have experienced.  Do  you know a fix for this?  I have tried reversing the fix for having two files open in two windows, and I am unable to reverse the change.

It is imperative to my job that I am able to work in spread sheets, coping values, and formulas.  With the size of the files that I work with, it is helpful to have two seperate windows open with excel, but I still need full use of copy/paste functions.


Brianna Winn replied on 03-Sep-08 02:37 PM
I have found a temporary fix for this.  If you still want to open two files in the same window, you have to open from within the file that is already open.  That eliminates the problems with coping formula's, and column sizing.
Tim Coakley replied on 19-Oct-08 01:31 PM
I followed these instructions and now anytime I try to open an excel file I get this error message:

'C:\Documents.xls' could not be found. Check the spelling of the file name, and verify that the file location is correct.

If you are trying to open the file from your list of most recently used files on the File menu, make sure that the file has not been renamed, moved, or deleted.
Marc replied on 10-Mar-09 11:34 AM
Hi Brianna,

I see that this string is old, but was wondering if you have found a fix for
this.  I would like to have two windows of Excel (to have on two different
monitors) but encounter the copy/paste problem, as well as my Macros won't
work in the second window of Excel.  Have you had any luck?

Thank you!
Gord Dibben replied on 10-Mar-09 02:08 PM

Check out instructions at Chip Pearson's site for using two workbooks in a
single instance of Excel over dual monitors.


Gord Dibben  MS Excel MVP

On Tue, 10 Mar 2009 08:34:22 -0700, Marcy <Marcy@>
Marc replied on 13-Mar-09 02:32 PM
This is an ok work-around...but a little clumsy.  My monitors are not the
same size (one is wide-screen).  And also the status bar is only on the
lower-left hand corner of the application window.  So, if there is not any
way to open two application windows that both have access to the
'personal.xls' file I'll still have to wait for it to come out in a further

Thanks for your help!
Roger replied to Elka on 24-Dec-09 01:22 PM
Sounds good except there is no "Tools" option under Windows 7 that I can find.
DAvidMMM replied to vijay on 31-Dec-09 04:36 PM
I do not see the files option. I am using Visat, I have organize>Folder
options, but no file types tab. Any suggestions?
george roberts replied to Elka on 24-Feb-10 06:07 AM
I followed your instructions to enable me open 2 windows alongside each other but all that has happened is they have all been minimised.

If I open excel book 1, then c/o New, it opens book 2 but on taskbar only.
Piyush Panchal replied to Elka on 25-Mar-10 09:39 AM
It works man........

It definitely works with office 2003..

Thank you.

Piyush Panchal
Lucy C replied to Elka on 08-Jul-10 04:38 PM

Can you tell me how I can undo XLS extension?

Specifically these steps

Click the "Advanced" Button

Select the "Open" action from the list

Click the "Edit..." Button

Where is says "Application used to perform action:"

If not already there, add:

/e "%1"

Thank you
Michel replied to Lucy C on 06-Oct-10 06:29 PM
I've been opening two instances of excel for quite a while, but I can't get personal.xls to work in both.  Is there a way to access the file and macros in both windows?
Minh Nguyen replied to Elka on 21-Oct-10 06:34 PM
Great instructions and it works