How to Compare Excel Files for differences in values online

Looking for a tool to compare two Excel files online?
Compare CSV Files in Excel Compare
Fundamental tool
As a professional Excel/VBA developer, XLCompare has become a fundamental tool in my development process. It works on even the most code-heavy and complex of workbooks, and is something I just couldn't do without.
Peter Hamilton
Excel file comparison is a complex task, that requires calculation resources on your computer. Normally xlCompare performs a large number of comparison operations to give you best spreadsheet comparison results. Comprehensive worksheets comparison can't be done online effectively. You need to have a fast Internet Connection to transfer data to server to compare two excel sheets online for differences.
Next important part of the comparison process - diff report representation. Online excel worksheet compare tool doesn't give you such flexibility and performance due to lack of capabilities and resources. Excel and xlCompare has optimized user interface controls, which virtualize worksheet cells, to display millions of cells in the >100Mb excel files. This is almost impossible in the solution implemented in the browser, or which uses HTML to display the data - online worksheet comparison tools.
Tool, designed to compare 2 excel worksheets online can't be used with the command line mode, because it is not installed on your PC. So, you can't integrate it into your GIT or SVN environment. xlCompare is not only spreadsheet compare tool, but also diff and merge tool for applications, which require diff viewers for XLS, XLSX, XLSM files.

Using online service to compare Excel files

In this topic we discuss only online xl comparators. Desktop tools are not a part of this section. Here we’ll see how to compare excel files online and what you can do with compared data.

Websites you can use to compare excel files

Where to find a website to compare excel files online – the answer is quite simple – in Google. Google search gives us several resources, first 2 of them are:
Compare the difference between excel files and other spreadsheets - Diff Checker
Compare Two Excel Spreadsheet files & find Diff Online | TextCompare
We’ve tried both online tools and will give you our summary.

Does the website upload your workbook?

This is important question that will probably appear in the 90% of cases. We think – no. This job can be done in the browser window using javascript or by using something similar. Javascript libraries allows to open Excel workbook in the browser and to do the excel file comparison. So, there is no reason to upload file to external server and to load server by this job.

Benefits of using online tools to compare excel files

This solution is free and easy to use. This is the most important pros. All you need to do is to open your browser, drop the file and get the results.
May be there are other advantages, but from the first look they are not so perceptible.
But if your spreadsheet is small and all you need is to find different cells – it will work for you.

Disadvantages of using online services

Every solution has pros and cons, and online excel file comparators are not an exception.

Only one comparison strategy

Data is always compared with one algorithm. Desktop excel comparison tools you can find on the market allows you to select how you want to compare your files. And at least 2 options are present:
  • General worksheet
  • Database Table

Limited Interface features

Browser doesn’t allow you to resize columns and rows, to select range of cells, etc. If you dataset is wide scrolling became not comfortable.

No Comparison Summary

It is not possible to get all differences listed in one place and to create comparison report for the processed files

No Command Line mode

This is not possible with online service, so if you are looking for solution that you can use as external diff checker, probably you need to look into desktop application.

No Filter and Merge commands

The online excel comparison tools doesn’t allow to filter unique or duplicated rows and to merge modified cells between two Excel files.
This list could be longer, but not all desktop excel comparators have all options listed above.

Using desktop excel diff tool – xlCompare

There are few applications on the market that allows to find differences in the Excel files, highlight them or export into other format. We will show you xlCompare – utility that compares and merges Excel files and has rich set of options and commands.

What is xlCompare

xlCompare is not an application whose primary goal is to compare excel workbooks for changed values. This tool saves your working time and increases productivity. It transforms Excel file comparison into set of simple operations, that you can do in a few clicks. This is powerful instrument in your hands, that could save you a lot of money.

Benefits of using xlCompare

We’ve already discussed this question several times on our website. Probably you can see same discussion on the other page. But we will show it here once again:


xlCompare is an easy to use solution. Just install it, drop your files into xlCompare and get the results. Nothing more. If you need to find differences in two Excel sheets with some exceptions – you should use options. But for the general cases you should not do anything.

Error free solution

Every year companies lose millions of dollars due to errors in spreadsheets. xlCompare was tested on millions of workbooks and is very reliable tool.


xlCompare works quickly even on the large files. Worksheets with million records are compared in a few seconds. Armed with this tool you will move your productivity to the highest level.

Why xlCompare is better than online service

Representation of the comparison results

We would like to place this option first. xlCompare is a desktop spreadsheet application that is created for comparison tasks. It looks like Excel with two panels located side by side. You can scall your data synchronously, copy ranges of cells, delete and insert columns and rows and more. All you can do in Excel you can do in xlCompare. So, very comfortable and clear representation of the comparison results is one of the most important pros of xlCompare.

Compare Values, Formulas and Cell Styles

xlCompare performs complete spreadsheet comparison. It analyzes all data on the worksheets.

Merge changes between two Excel files

You can merge all cells in single click from file to file or browse changes and merge only values you need.

Command line mode

xlCompare supports command line parameters, so you can easily integrate it into any other application, that uses third party diff checker (viewer) for XLS, XLSM, XLSX, CSV, TEXT, XLA, XLAM files.

Create Outlined Difference report

If you need to show your colleague what was changed in the Excel file – create difference report and send it to him. Also, you can print it as PDF and email to someone. There are number of options you have to create a difference report.

3-Way Compare and Merge

If you are working with editing conflict when you compare two versions of same Excel file – 3-way merge is an ultimate option, that is present in the xlCompare only.
This is just a part of the advantages you have. To the complete list of options, probably you need to look into Features List.

Cons of xlCompare

Without this topic article will not be complete. xlCompare has one cons – this solution is not free. But you need to understand that this is professional tool with support, free updates and growing set of options. It can’t be distributed for free. But the benefits you are getting by choosing it as you Excel comparison tool are more valuable than its price.
If you value your time, you will make a choice.

Conclusion: How to compare two excel files online

If your Excel files are simple and have same structure – you can use online tool to compare excel files. This is good free solution that solves common spreadsheet comparison tasks.
But if you need a professional feature rich tool for your daily tasks and working time is important for you – we suggest you to choose xlCompare. This solution will increase you productivity to the highest level.
Compare Excel Files in xlCompare