Is it possible to open multiple instances of Excel 2010 in Windows 7?
April 22, 2014 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I want to be able to open multiple instances of Excel 2010 in Windows 7 on a PC. This is the default for opening Word docs but for some reason Excel limits me to multiple windows inside one instance. Is there a way to do this? Challenge: I do not have the ability to edit the registry on this (work) computer.
posted by Wretch729 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
hmm. It definitely is possible, as my machine defaulted to opening new windows for each workbook once I upgraded to 7/2010. When I was on XP/2007, this did not happen. I actually assumed it was built in to office 2010 I'll see if I can find the switch to flip.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:33 PM on April 22

I work around this by opening multiple instances of excel (i.e., go to start/run and type in excel to open a second instance)
posted by lulz at 1:37 PM on April 22 [9 favorites]

I can just go into the start menu and click on Excel 2010 again to open a separate instance.
posted by carolr at 1:38 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

it probably is the registry underneath the hood. The setting is the DDE, sometimes hidden in explorer, and depends on the Excel version. So try this link suggests and see if it lets you modify the excel option.

Excel->File->Options->Advanced->General->uncheck DDE.
posted by k5.user at 1:38 PM on April 22

Does this work for you?

"pin a shortcut to Excel to the taskbar, then hold down Shift while clicking the shortcut to open a new instance instead of activating the running instance."
That is from this page.
posted by soelo at 1:40 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

I have to do this every day, and yes, the folks above are right--you have to open an entire new thing of excel.

It's worth noting that if you want to open a previous spreadsheet so you can view them side by side or whatever, you have to open a new blank excel worksheet and then open the file from there. Mousing over excel in the start menu and opening a recent sheet will open it in your already active excel window. This will lead to you cursing at the screen and being mildly annoyed. Take it from someone who knows.
posted by phunniemee at 1:45 PM on April 22

I love Ask.Me!

lulz, carolr, and soelo's solutions all work for me.

The option k5.user suggests doesn't exist for me when I go into options.

If anyone has any other suggestions for setting this to apply to opening documents from inside a folder and/or explorer let me know, as I usually work that way (it's faster for me).
posted by Wretch729 at 1:46 PM on April 22

HOLY TOLEDO Thank you askme! I read this question precisely because my boss and I have both lamented our inability to open two spreadsheets side by side. He's going to think I'm a genius! (Well, he's going to have further empirical evidence that he'd be lost without me)
posted by janey47 at 1:57 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

Keep in mind that copying and pasting between two instances of Excel will not work as you might expect. It will even warn you before you do it.
posted by dobi at 2:02 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

"pin a shortcut to Excel to the taskbar, then hold down Shift while clicking the shortcut to open a new instance instead of activating the running instance."

Clicking with the middle mouse button works as a substitute for Shift+click. I find that a lot easier to do.

Also, you don't necessarily need to pin Excel to the taskbar; once Excel is open you can middle-click on its icon in the taskbar and that works too.
posted by kyp at 2:12 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

I pin all Office programs I use to the taskbar and set them up to show up to 25 recent documents. To see & access the recent documents you right click on the pinned icon and select the one you want. If you then want to open another Excel window go back to the pinned icon and select Microsoft Excel 2010, you then need to open the doc you want from the Recent list you find on the File tab.
To set the number of recent documents from the default up to 25 in Excel 2010 open Excel, go to the File tab, select Options, then select Advanced. Scroll down to Display, the first item is a dropdown to show Recent Documents and pick the number you want. (Once you are using this you can keep the list 'clean' by removing docs from the list you don't really need to have on it by right clicking on them and removing from the list)
FYI you can use this Recent Document list for all the Programs you pin to the task bar, I regularly use it for all the Office programs and Adobe Acrobat for PDF's.
posted by IpsoFacto at 2:58 PM on April 22

For what it's worth, Excel 2013 appears to open each file into its own window by default.

posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:51 PM on April 22

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