Compare Two Excel Spreadsheets For Differences

If other people can edit the book, it may open completely and “Who changed this and what was done?” Comparison of Microsoft spreadsheets can answer these questions by looking for these changes and highlighting them for you.

IMPORTANT: Comparison of worksheets is only available with Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus.

  1. Open Spreadsheet Comparison.
  2. In the panel in the lower left corner, choose the options that the desire includes in the comparison of the book, such as formulas, cell format or macros. Or, if you prefer, select Select All.
  3. On the Home tab, choose Compare Files.
    Compare files
  4. In the Compare Files dialog box, in the Compare row, browse to the previous version of your workbook. In addition to files stored on your computer in a network, you can type a web address in a place where the books are saved.
  5. Command compare files
  6. In the Compare Files dialog box, in the With row, browse Browse to the previous version of your workbook.
  7. NOTE: You can compare files with the same name and save them to different folders.
  8. Select OK to execute the comparison.

NOTE: If you receive a message with “Can not open the book”, it is possible that one of the books with password protected. Click OK, and then type the password. Learn more about how passwords work and Comparing spreadsheets.

The results of the comparison appear in a two-panel grid. The book on the left corresponds to the file “Compare” you have chosen and the one on the right. The details appear on a panel below the two grids. Changes are highlighted by color, depending on the exchange rate.

Comparison Results

Understand the results

In the parallel grid, a worksheet is compared with the worksheet in the other file, starting with the leftmost worksheet in each of them. If the worksheet is hidden in a workbook, it is still displayed and compared in Worksheet Comparison.

If the cells are too narrow to display the contents of the cells, click Resize the cells to fit.
Change the size of the cells

Differences are highlighted with a cell fill color or text font color, depending on the type of difference. For example, cells with “specified values” (other than formula cells) apply a format with green fill color in the parallel grid and with a green font in the result list. The panel in the lower left corner is a legend that shows the meaning of colors.

Other ways of working with the comparison results

If you want to save the results to another site, you can export them to an Excel file or copy them and paste them into another program, such as Microsoft Word. There is also the option to get a high-fidelity look at each worksheet that shows the cell format, similar to what you would see in Excel.

  1. You can export the results to an Excel file for easy reading. Click Start> Export Results.
  2. Click Start> Copy Results to Clipboard to copy and paste the results into another program.
  3. To display the cell format in the workbook, click Start> Show Book Colors.
  4. Other Reasons to Compare Books

Imagine that the organization must perform an audit. I need a collection of the most important books that shows the changes month after month or year after year. This can help you find and correct mistakes before auditors do.

In addition to comparing calculation contents, you can use Spreadsheet Comparison to check for differences in VBA code (Visual Basic for Applications). The results are available in a window where you can see the differences in parallel.