View multiple worksheets at the same time

Sometimes you would like to view multiple worksheets at once. Maybe you have two worksheets to compare side-by-side or you are working on one worksheet where you need to reference another section at the same time. I’ve been in these situations before and it’s nice to know that Excel offers ways to show multiple worksheet / workbooks in a nice way. There are a couple of ways to go about this and it also depends on the version of Excel you have. Let’s get right to it.

View multiple Worksheets from the same Workbook

In the View tab, and in the Window group, click on New Window

New Window Button

Your worksheet will be duplicated into another window. The windows will be titled with :1 and :2. Note that doing work on one of the workbook will show up in the other one, since they are the same workbook, just displayed two times.

Multiple Windows

Notice how Excel 2013 creates two separate windows? This is actually different from previous versions. Take a look at how Excel 2010 handles this.

Multiple Worksheets 2

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In Excel 2010 and previous, the main application window will contain the multiple windows you created.

At this point, the same worksheet will be displayed in both windows. While modifying data in one window will show up in the other, clicking on which worksheet you want in one window will not affect the other. So, feel free to choose which worksheets you would like to see at the same time.

View Multiple Worksheets of Different Workbooks

This is actually pretty simple, because all you need to do is open the two (or more) workbooks and then Arrange them using Excel’s Arrange Windows tool (covered next).

Arranging the Windows

Now that you have the windows shown, you may want to organize them in a more meaningful way. You do this by arranging the windows. Go to the View tab, under the Window group, click on Arrange All. You will see a new dialogue show up.

Arrange Windows dialogue

You can choose which method you’d like to apply, which are displayed below.

Tiled

Tiled

Horizontal

Horizontal

Vertical

Vertical

Cascade

Cascade

 

Order of Arranged Windows
You may have noticed that the order of the windows seems a bit random. Wanna understand how to control the order of how they’re displayed? Check out this post.

Windows of the Active Workbook

This option simply tells Excel that the workbook that you last interacted with (the “active” workbook) is the only workbook you want to arrange the windows for. This is only relevant if you have multiple workbooks open at once.

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  • Carol

    Hello, sometime ago I asked you about a shortcut key to enter the current date and you came to my rescue 🙂 I use this shortcut a lot throughout my day because I have to enter this info in a lot of logs at work.

    I now have a need to enter the current time ie. 5:04 PM. Is there a shortcut that I can use to automatically populate a cell with the time stamp?

    Thanks so much

    • Hi Carol, first off, you’re very welcome 🙂 I’m glad to help!

      Also, to answer your other question, you can use the following shortcut to enter in the current timestamp:

      Ctrl+Shift+;

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Rudi

    I have a question about this function in Excel 2013. I recently upgraded from 2010 and something that bothers me about 2013 is that when I view 2 worksheets from different workbooks in 2013 it opens each one as its own window. A function that I often use is to highlight a block of data on one sheet and look at the sum at the bottom of the screen to capture that on the other sheet I have open. However if the sheets are in their own window I lose the value of the sum in one sheet the second I click on the second sheet to transfer that amount. In the example you give above, each worksheet is an individually minimizable sheet within a single window. Excel 2013 does not seem to give me that option.

    Am I missing something?

    • Rudi

      I have subsequently discovered that Excel 2013 makes use of a single document interface (SDI) instead of the multiple document interface (MDI) that previous versions used which is what is causing this problem. So I guess I want to change my question to this: How do I keep the sum, count or average that is normally displayed on the status bar of one document when there is a highlighted section of data, while working on another when I have them open side by side?

  • Rudi

    Problem solved!

    Here’s a link to an explanation on how to open a new instance of Excel that solves this problem

    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/marco_russo/archive/2012/07/24/running-excel-2013-in-a-separate-instance-excel-powerpivot.aspx

  • Ayyanna Habal

    Is there any reason that the “Arrange All” command does’t work. I can open multiple windows but only one displays at a time no matter which option I select..vertical, cascade, horizontal… Can anyone suggest. How to resolve this problem?

    • Joseph

      Hi Ayyanna, which version of Excel are you using? And are you opening several workbooks or are you trying to view multiple windows of the same workbook (by going to View -> New Window) or multiple workbooks?

      Also, there is an extra checkbox that says “Windows of Active Workbook.” If this checkbox is checked, and you only have one window open for the workbook that you are in when you click View -> Arrange All, then it will only arrange that single workbook, rather than multiple workbooks you may have open.

  • Susana

    Hi Thanks for your post, I like the new layout of your site. I can find the topics a lot quicker than before. I would like to learn how to sort multiple columns while keeping all the data in their respective rows. I need to sort my data using the the second column (not the first one).

  • Anders

    Hi Guys, I am wanting to automatically and sequently display graphs that are on separate tabs. Ideally I would like to display each graph for 10 seconds, before flicking onto the next graph. At the end I would like to start the sequence again (as each graph will be periodically updated. Is this possible and if so, can you please explain how?

    • Joseph

      Hi Anders, this is most-likely possible with VBA (though I haven’t tried anything like this before). It would require a lot more text than what I would put in a comment, but basically I believe you could:
      – Create a button in the Ribbon to Start / Stop this “slideshow” of graphs. The reason I say the Ribbon is because if you are going to cycle through different worksheets then you would have a hard time stopping the slideshow if the button was on a specific worksheet.
      – Set an array to hold the worksheets you would like to cycle through
      – Loop through that array and make each sheet within that array active for a certain period of time. You would probably want to use Timers if possible, also you’ll want to make sure to use DoEvents so you can let the user interact with your workbook (like move the window or something).

      I might make this into another post to show the example. If I do, I’ll come back to these comments and link it so you can see.

      In the meantime, I would suggest trying to get help from an Excel forum like vbaexpress.com. You’ll get help much quicker in a forum like that.