Open Excel in Two Windows (Microsoft Excel 2007 / Windows Vista)

by Brett on January 19, 2009

There is a flaw with the below solution it causes the associated Excel files to loose their icons. I posted a follow-up article for opening Excel in Multiple Windows that provides the same solution while associating a new icon with the Excel Files.

When you open an Excel file in Windows Vista, it will only open 1 instance of Excel and force you to tile the windows in order to see both at the same time. I find this annoying especially when I want the Excel files to display on multiple monitors.

I looked around for some solutions and found the following:

I didn’t like using the start menu option as I like to use Windows Explorer to open my Excel files and I couldn’t get the DDE option to work. So, I took a minute and developed my own fairly simple¬†solution.

1. Put the following line of text in a bat file and save it at as c:\Program Files\runExcel.bat

start "Excel" "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE" /e %1

2. Modify the shortcut for the .xls extension

Right click the excel file and select “Open With…” and then in the window that opens¬†click “Browse…”

Open With

Then select the bat file you created in the first step by browsing to c:\program files and selecting runExcel.bat. Make sure that “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” is checked in the “Open With” dialog.

Now anytime you double click on an Excel file it will always open it in a new window – the way I think it should be.

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