How to View Two Worksheets Side-by-Side

Have you ever wanted to know how to view two Worksheets side-by-side? Even from two different Workbooks! The ability to open two Worksheets side-by-side is one of the most useful, and commonly asked about, features in Excel.

In this blog post and videos, I’ll quickly show you how this is done, and a few different options you can use when viewing multiple worksheets.

How Its Done

Let’s jump straight to it. On Windows, click the ‘View’ tab on the ribbon and take a look at the ‘Window’ section of the tab. The Mac differs slightly. Click the Window drop-down menu and then click Arrange…. Both Windows and Mac are highlighted in the images below.

Window Section of the View tab

Window Section of the View Tab on Windows


Window Dropdown menu - Mac

Window Dropdown Menu on the Mac

Here you will find various buttons that offer functionality associated with viewing multiple Workbooks and Worksheets.

The main button you are going to be using is the ‘Arrange All’ button highlighted in the images above. This button is the button that allows you to view more than one Worksheet or Workbook at the same time.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of what you can do.

Example One – View Two Workbooks Side-by-Side (Vertically)

Firstly, open two Excel Workbooks. It doesn’t really matter what they are at the moment. However, a couple with related information is often why you will be doing this. Using the method described in the section above, either click the ‘Arrange All’ (Windows) or, ‘Arrange…’ (Mac) buttons. Once this is done, select the ‘Vertical’ option from the pop-up menu and then, finally, click the OK button.

Arrange All Vertical Option

Hey presto, you should have two Workbooks displayed side-by-side, something like the image below.

Vertical Side-by-Side Example

Example Two – View Two Workbooks One Above The Other (Horizontally)

This time, we are going to display the Workbooks one above the other. So, like before, using the method described above, either click the ‘Arrange All’ (Windows) or, ‘Arrange…’ (Mac) buttons. This time, click the Horizontal button and, finally, click the OK button.

Horizontal Side-by-Side Example

Let’s take this example a step further. In the Window section of the View tab, a couple of more buttons should have been enabled (see the image below) ‘View Side-by-Side’ and ‘Synchronous Scrolling.’

ide-by-Side and Synchronous Scrolling

View Side-by-Side pretty much achieves what we have just done in the above two examples. However, in some cases, it isn’t enabled until you choose one of the options from the ‘Arrange All’ button, or click the New Window button and choose a Worksheet from the current Workbook or open a new Workbook.

The ‘Synchronous Scrolling’ button allows you to use the mouse wheel to scroll the worksheets currently in view up and down at the same time. This can be both annoying and useful. It is useful because if you have data that is spread across multiple rows (more than can be viewed on the screen at once), you can move through both worksheets at the same time. It is very useful when comparing worksheets and checking for differences in different versions of a workbook. It is annoying because sometimes you just don’t want them to scroll together, which is quickly resolved by turning the feature off.

Can I Open More Than Two?

You can view more than two worksheets or workbooks at the same time. The real limit here is the amount of screen real estate you have to work with. The bigger the monitor, the more worksheets you can view at once.

Click the ‘New Window’ button. On Windows, the button is in the Window section of the View tab; on the Mac, the button is in the Window drop-down menu.  Then, choose your view option by clicking the ‘Arrange All’ (Windows), or, ‘Arrange…’ (Mac) button. The example below shows three worksheets side-by-side using the ‘Vertical’ option.

Three Worksheets Vertical View

More Viewing Options

Finally, there are a couple of viewing options that we haven’t covered in this blog post yet. You probably noticed when you clicked the ‘Arrange All’ button a couple more options, Cascade and Tile.

I find these options to be useful when working with more than three Worksheets/Workbooks. However, these options are perhaps best suited for users with larger monitors.

The Cascade option displays the worksheets one on top of the other, much like a deck of cards (see the image below).

Five Worksheets Cascade View

The Tile option displays the worksheets across the screen in a tiled formation, like the image below.

Five Worksheets Tile View

The following video shows you how to view worksheets side-by-side in Excel for Windows.

The following video shows you how to view worksheets side-by-side in Excel for Mac.

I hope you found this blog post useful. Please feel free to make comments, ask questions, or provide feedback in the comments box below.

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