How to Find Differences in Two Excel Spreadsheets

By Greg Lindberg

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that is a part of the Microsoft Office software package, and it allows users to create charts and graphs, perform calculations and accomplish other tasks. You can also create more than one spreadsheet for the workbook you are working on. Microsoft offers an add-in for Excel that you can download to allow you compare two different spreadsheets at once based on preferences that you choose. The Compare Spreadsheets for Excel add-in can be used on all versions of Excel.

Step 1

Visit the Microsoft Office Online Marketplace website at the link under "Resources." Click on the "Make Excel work for you" option and the click on the "Compare Spreadsheets for Excel" option.

Step 2

Download the Compare Spreadsheets for Excel add-in. Make sure you also have Microsoft .NET Framework downloaded in order to run the add-in (this comes standard on most Windows computers. Allow the download to complete, and then install it by double-clicking the downloaded file and following the onscreen instructions.

Step 3

Open the Excel documents that include the spreadsheets you want to compare.

Step 4

Click on the "Find Differences" button. Click on the "Next" button.

Step 5

Select the left range of data to be compared by clicking on the "Browse" button to select the spreadsheet and then choose the spreadsheet number from the drop-down menu. Do the same for the right range of data, and then click on the "Next" button.

Step 6

Choose the aligning options you want, and then click on the "Next" button. Specify the column range, then click on the "Next" button again.

Step 7

Continue choosing your options, and then click on the "Finish" button. The two spreadsheets will then be shown next to each other based on your preferences.