Creating an Excel workspace

You may have two Excel workbooks that you need to open together on a regular basis for updating figures and doing calculations.

Open the workbooks that you need to have open together on a regular basis.

Excel can arrange multiple workbooks in different ways on the screen according to how you prefer to work. It is best to have at least three workbooks open in order to experiment with this.

On the View
tab, in the Window section, click the Arrange All button, bringing up the Arrange Windows dialog box.

Try out the different options to see how they work.

Selecting “tiled” positions all of the open workbooks on the screen, trying to make each of them take up roughly the same amount of space.

The Horizontal option positions all of the workbooks stacked one above the other, occupying the full width of the window.

Vertical positions the workbooks so that they occupy the full height of the window and are positioned side-by-side.

Cascade has each workbook overlapping with Title bars visible; each workbook fills most of the window. You can then move between workbooks by clicking on the relevant Title bar.

Select how you would like your workbooks displayed, then click OK. We’ll use the Tiled arrangement so that all of the workbooks will be displayed.

To work in a different workbook, you need to make it the active window. You can do this by clicking on it, or by pressing Ctrl + Tab to cycle through all open windows until the one you want becomes active.

You can also arrange two workbooks to compare them using the View Side by Side option. With two workbooks open, click the View
tab, then in the Window section, click the View Side by Side button.

You can save the current arrangement of windows and open workbooks in what Excel calls a workspace file. When you reopen the workspace file, all the files and window positions are opened exactly as you saved them. Workspaces make it easier to work with a group of files that are used on a regular basis. To save this view as a workspace, on the View tab, in the Window section, click Save Workspace.

From the Save in drop-down list, select where on your computer to store the workspace. Type in a suitable name in the File name box, then click Save.

Next time you want both files opened in a similar view to how they were saved, click the Office button at the top left of the Excel window, then either locate the named workspace in the Recent documents
section, or click Open.

Locate the workspace as you would a regular workbook, then click Open.

Workbooks are opened in the same view as they were saved.

Summary: In summary, you can open two or more workbooks simultaneously. Saving a workspace allows the re-opening of a set of workbooks in the view in which they were saved.

To find out more about our Microsoft Excel training courses Sydney, Australia, please visit

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About jdonbavand

I am a trainer of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project and Crystal Reports. I have called my blog "If Only I'd Known That...." because I hear it so many times in training sessions. In fact, if only I had a £100 (or 150 Aussie dollars)for every time someone says "If only I'd known that." ....
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