Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Understanding Workbooks versus Windows
Understanding Workbooks versus Windows
One of the most common questions asked in the Excel newsgroups is “Why is Excel displaying
two copies of my workbook?” Then the Excel users go on to describe the symptoms: The
filename is followed by a colon and a number (for example, budget.xlsx:2 ).
Normally, a workbook is displayed in a single window within Excel. However, you can create
multiple windows for a single workbook by using the View
New Window command.
Most people who ask this question in the newsgroups have probably issued the New Window
command accidentally. What they’re really asking for is a way to close the additional window (or
windows). That’s an easy problem to solve: Just click the X on the title bar of the unwanted
windows. Or, use the Ctrl+F4 shortcut to close the window. After you close all extra windows, the
title bar no longer displays the window number.
By the way, the multiple window configuration is saved with the workbook, so when you open
the file later, the multiple windows are still displayed.
Although many people are confused about multiple windows, there are at least two good
reasons why you might want your workbook to display in two or more windows:
h You can view two worksheets in the same workbook simultaneously. For example, you
can display Sheet1 in the first window and Sheet2 in the second window and then tile the
two windows so that both are visible. The View
Arrange All command is
useful for tiling windows. This statement also applies to chart sheets. If you have a chart on a
chart sheet, you can arrange the windows so that you can see the chart along with its
h You can view cells and their formulas at the same time. Create a second window and
then press Ctrl+` (the key that usually also has the tilde character) to display the
formulas. Tile the two windows so that you can view the formulas and their results side by side
(see Figure 10-1).
When you need to compare information in two worksheets (or the same worksheet in
two windows), try the View
View Side by Side command. It makes
comparing two worksheets easy because Excel automatically scrolls the second window to
keep them synchronized. To use this feature with a single workbook, first create a
second window by choosing the View➜Window➜New Window command.
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