Open Excel on Multiple Monitors



Thanks for your help setting up multiple monitors.  I have been experiencing  one problem and wonder if you know the solution: are we able to open different excel windows in both monitors, ie spreadsheet 1 on monitor 1 and spreadsheet 2 on monitor 2?  I have this flexibility in Word.

Thanks for your help.



Yeah, this bugs me, too. If you open two Word documents, you get two windows. If you open two Excel documents, you get ONE window! Why can’t they be consistent within Office? It’s always been this way, even in Office 2007. Office 2007 will even show different taskbar buttons, but they both control a single window.

Anyway, here’s an easy work-around: resize the Excel window so that it covers both your monitors. If you use Ultramon, just right-click the taskbar, and then click Maximize to Desktop.

Then, tile the windows in Excel. In Excel 2007, click View, and then click View Side By Side. In earlier versions of Office, click the Window menu, and then click Tile Vertically (or whatever the command is).


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About Tony Northrup

Tony Northrup, MVP, MCITP, MCPD, MCSE, MCTS, and CISSP, is a Windows consultant and author living in Waterford, Connecticut, in the United States. Tony started programming before Windows 1.0 was released, but has focused on Windows administration and development for the last fifteen years. He has written more than two dozen books covering Windows development, networking, and security. Among other titles, Tony is coauthor of the Windows 7 Resource Kit, the Windows Vista Resource Kit, and Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection (NAP). When he's not writing, Tony enjoys photography, travel, and being awesome. Tony lives with his girlfriend, Chelsea, her daughter, Madelyn, and three dogs. You can learn more about Tony by visiting his personal website at and his photography portfolio at

19 thoughts on “Open Excel on Multiple Monitors

  1. What you may want to do is launch a true second copy of excel. You do this by selecting excel off the start menu (or the orb menu for vista) and hold down on the control key just as you click on the excel shortcut. I generally drag my document into that excel window to control that the document opens in the correct 2nd copy. The one disadvantage of this method is that copy and paste works only as text in that mode.

  2. Open up excel from the run command. i.e. Go to Start >> Run.
    Then type in excel and select enter. Do this agian for the second window of excell.

  3. As long as I launch MS Excel from the “Start Menu” I can have as many different instances of the program that I want. I can have a copy of Excel 2007 running in each of my displays or I can have 4 Excel applications tiled in my single 24″ display and an additional 4 in my 22″ display. It is just a matter of launching Excel as many times as I need it from the start menu.

  4. Using Excel 2007, you can correct the paste limitation by using the ‘Paste Special’ command and selecting XML Spreadsheet option.

    I haven’t tried this in earlier versions but formulas, borders and text formattng seem to work ok.

  5. Thank you very much. Nobody has suggested to cover both of monitors before. All internet says about second instances but there you can’t link formulas from one window to another but here you can!

  6. This problem has been driving me crazy for months and I just figured out the solution today!
    If you want to view multiple Excel 2007 documents in separate windows in order to drag them onto separate monitors and maintain the ability to copy and paste will all of the available options, go to the excel options and under advanced check “show all windows in the taskbar”. The same option is available for MS Word; however, the only difference is that the default option on install for MS Word is to have this option checked while it is not checked by default in MS Excel.

    • pattie
      i have that box ticked and still cannot have two workbooks – one on each monitor :(

  7. Patty is close… You should check the box that says “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)”

  8. Start separate instances of Excel first, then open your documents from within
    each respective instance.

    However, if you really want to be able to open the files in separate
    instances from Windows Explorer (doesn’t work with desktop icons though),
    then follow these steps:

    Open Windows Explorer
    Select “Tools”
    Select “Folder Options”
    Select the “File Types” Tab
    Scroll down to find and select the XLS extension
    Click the “Advanced” Button
    Select the “Open” action from the list
    Click the “Edit…” Button
    Where is says “Application used to perform action:”
    If not already there, add:

    /e “%1″

    to the end of the file path
    Uncheck the “Use DDE” box
    Click OK
    Click OK
    Click Close

  9. Hi DannyBoy,
    I’ve done your method before. But for some reason it has changed and I don’t get the option to click advanced after choosing program to open XLS files with.
    I can only restore it and it goes back to Viewer by default…
    Any ideas?

  10. Currently, you can not get to advanced settings for Windows 7. “Default programs” in control panel lets you view the extensions (ie xls, xlsx, etc.) but as of now, no editing is possible to the file path.

    The method of “Danny Boy” is useful only in XP or earlier. For Vista/7 it’s a no go.


  11. This just shows how shit anything M$ makes is. Let’s all use alternative software and we’ll be happy.

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