How to compare two Excel files by viewing them side by side

Get the difference report for your excel workbooks

Why side by side?

The answer is quite simple. Side by side representation is the most suitable representation for the comparison results. This feature is widely used by many xlcomparators. Diff Tools for Text files, Source Code files (.cpp and other) use this type of visual layout.
Thats why when we've started developing xlCompare as Diff and Merge Tool for Excel Files, first thing which has been implemented - worksheet view and 2 panels to display data you want to compare.
One view is labeled FILE1 and corresponding new FILE2. Worksheets are placed one versus one, compared data is always on screen.
Excel File Compare Tool Diff Report Window
The screenshot above perfectly describes this feature. As you see both worksheets are located side by side and corresponding changed cells are located on the same horizontal line.

Instruction to compare excel files side-by-side

1 Start your xlCompare. We've put this step into step-by-step instruction to count all evern minor actions.
2 Drop two excel files into the Excel Compare window. You can drop them one by one or drop both files at once.
3 Press compare button to make sure that xlCompare has grouped your worksheets properly. Usuall the default selection is ok, but if you want you can change the selection and modify comparison algorithms. Also, you can exclude some worksheets from being compared.
4 Press Compare button and get the results! Thats all. Just a in a 3 clicks and few seconds we've give you comparison report!
xlCompare is feature-rich excel comparator. List of options we can offer you will make this article too long. Please review the most useful options for spreadsheet side-by-side comparison below.

Other Benefits from the side by side layout

xlCompare is a feature rich Excel File Diff Tool. Look what we can offer you to get miximum possible features from this application layout:
Virtually Aligned Rows xlCompare insertes virtual rows into the worksheets, as a compensation for deleted and inserted rows on the other view. With this unique feature you always see corresponding cells one versus one on the same place in both panels. Do not spend you time to look for changed value - just more your focus on the other side. Very useful feature!
Extended View Display value of the corresponding cell inplace. With this option enabled - in one cell you see it's value and corresponding value. In this case you should not look for other value at all.
Display Difference With this option you see difference between values instead of the corresponding value. So, every changed numeric or date cell contains it's origial value and difference.
Synchronized Scrolling When you scroll one worksheet, xlCompare scrolls panel on the other side. This make working with comparison results very convenient.
Synchronized Selection When you select cell on one sheet, xlCompare automatically selects same cell on the corresponding worksheets. This feature highlights corresponding cell when you select data on the sheet.
Synchronize with Report Select any items in the comparison report and we'll select changed cells on both worksheets aligned one by one.
This list contains only some basic features, xlCompare has many comparison and worksheet consolidation options and commands to trace and debug cell calculations. It you are working with very complex excel modules with 1000-s of formulas - you find our calculation explorer commands very useful.