Excel 2010 – How to open numerous spreadsheets in their own separate windows?


Unlike earlier versions of Excel, Excel 2010 opens each spreadsheet within a parent Excel window rather than opening a separate Excel window per spreadsheet. This is a problem if you need to compare two spreadsheets across two monitors.

There is a workaround – simply opening a new instance of Excel and then using File and Open to locate the spreadsheet to open, but this is time consuming and frustrating if you are working on a large number of spreadsheets at any one time.

After a little searching I found a really good fix that just involves some minor changes to the registry.

· Open a registry editor like regedit. Start > Run > regedit

· Locate the following key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.8/shell/Open/command

o In the right hand pane right click on (Default) and change

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE” /dde

to

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE” /e “%1”

image001

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o In the right hand pane right click on command and select rename

It can be renamed to anything so that it will be ignored. I renamed to commandold

· Locate the following key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.8/shell/Open/ddeexec

o Select the ddeexec folder, right click on command and select rename

o It can be renamed to anything so that it will be ignored. I renamed to ddeexecold

image003

· Locate the following key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.12/shell/Open/command

o In the right hand pane right click on (Default) and change

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE” /dde

to

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE” /e “%1”

· In the right hand pane right click on command and select rename

It can be renamed to anything so that it will be ignored. I renamed to commandold

image004

Close regedit and try to open two different spreadsheets – they should each open in their own instance of Excel!

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70 thoughts on “Excel 2010 – How to open numerous spreadsheets in their own separate windows?

  1. Thanks for the great solution. It didn’t work for me either until I renamed the ddeexec folder under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.12/shell/Open in the same manner as descrided in the step for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.8/shell/Open/ddeexec.

    Thanks again.

  2. Thank you so much. I have been looking around for a solution to this problem for a while. This worked ike a charm.

    • Sorry, my mistake. I didn’t read all the way through the thread.

      This fixed it for me:
      “It didn’t work for me either until I renamed the ddeexec folder under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.12/shell/Open in the same manner as descrided in the step for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.8/shell/Open/ddeexec.”

      Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Office 2010 Documents in Separate Windows «

  4. Indeed! Works perfectly on Microsoft Office Professional Plus on Windows 7 machine. Stupid MS! Why did they have to change it!

  5. Thanks very much.

    I have a TRIAL Office 2010 and trying to get acquainted with it after living with v.2003. I am a non-techy, and this was the easiest solution to follow and IT WORKED! Am bookmarking this page for when my TRIAL period is up.

    Novice

  6. Pingback: Excel 2010 – How to open numerous spreadsheets in their own separate windows? (via The IT Bod) | Excel for Fantasy Football ©

  7. I can get the two seperate windows to open but it does’nt open the files i clicked on just two blank workbooks in seperate windows.

  8. для Win 7 и office 2010: в Excel – файл- параметры – дополнительно – внизу будет “общие” там нужно поставить галочку “игнорировать DDE запросы от других приложений” – и будет два файла открываться в двух приложениях

  9. Thanks, worked great. Just need to remember that you need to change the excel.sheet.12/shell/open and then (ddeexec) folder to (ddeexecold)

  10. Why do users have to create work-arounds when it was a simple icon select before– this is nuts! Too bad MS prefers not to have any contact with the customer to fix these mistakes correctly.

  11. Hi All,
    Its works Thanks a lot, but….
    When i opening Excel from Email attachment its opens in the same window as before.
    Do you have any ideas.
    Thansk

  12. Thanks for the great solution – worked on Win7 Office10!

    I suggest you update the description in order to add renaming the ddeexec folder under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.12/shell/Open as well …

  13. This has worked – Fantastic, however i still have to look and locate the file i wanted to open! should i still need to do this?

  14. beware that this can break if the filename or the folder path contain spaces.
    double-clicking “\documents\audit reports\excel spreadsheet today.xlsx” gives me several errors: “i can’t find audit.xls. i can’t find reports\excel.xls. i can’t find spreashseet.xls. i can’t find today.xls”

  15. So pleased that I found this solution to this issue. Just be sure you rename both of those ddeexec folders under both 8 and 12. Do that along with the other instructions and you’re golden!! Thank you so very much.

  16. Had to disable Protected View under the Trust Settings. Any document opening in Protect View/Read Only would open in same window. Disabled all the Check boxes in the Protected View Options and was opening files in separate windows again.

  17. Thanks @Itbod for this fix!
    And thanks @Moosh for the microsoft Fix It link. The “fix it for me” button didn’t work for me, but the instructions were easy to follow. Can’t believe MSFT didn’t include an option to open files in separate windows. Up to now I’ve been opening one window across two monitors and lining up each workbook side by side within it. An ugly, but just about workable, solution until now.

  18. Well it worked, before I installed the newest Office update (KB2553272) 32-Bit edition. Afterwards I had to go back to the original, otherwise I coud not open the files.

  19. Opens independent excel instances but not special paste functions such as values, only text or objects. Does the same as opening one file with excel, then going to the menu and starting a new instance of excel, then getting the file you want to work with via the open command.

  20. thanks worked like a charm! Had to do the .12 name change to the folder ddeexec once I renamed it to old everything was working wonderfully!

  21. Create a simple excel shortcut on desktop of excel. Every time you need to open two different windows just open new instance from the shortcut. This will create new excel window and open your required file from here. No Regedit changes required.

  22. Thank you. When I’m working with multiple spreadsheets I almost always want them side-by-side to compare and copy and paste informaiton. I guess single instance window was one of MS Office changes to justify a new version.

  23. Thank you so much! This is the only how-to that worked for me. I think something about the ddeexec had to be changed in order for it to work. In my case though, I made up a separate menu entry for multiple instances. I can still use a single instance by default (Open) if I choose.

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