How di I stop a new copy of Excel loading for every file?

Whenever I open a new spreadsheet file, it opens a new copy of Excel. This is no good as I cannot create cross-references between sheets when they are in separate copies of Excel.

How do I get it to open the workbook in the same copy of Excel that is already open?

And apparently I cannot edit the title. “do”

Check your settings in Tools, Options, General, “At Startup, open all files in”.

I don’t see such an option (this is Office 2010), but doesn’t that just set the directory that Excel will look at when you do File -> Open?

I don’t think that’s it. On my system, running Excel 2003, the help for that option describes it as, “At startup, Excel will automatically open files from the folder you specify here. Type the full path to the folder in the text box to indicate the location of the files.”

I’ve got Excel 2010 Beta on this other system and on it, this is what I had to do. Select the File menu. Click on Options. Go to the Advanced tab. Uncheck “Show all windows in the Taskbar” under the Display settings.

That doesn’t help, I’m afraid. I don’t know if it is relevant, but the spreadsheets I am trying to open are in SharePoint.

It might be relevant. Can you try to open two Excel documents that are both stored locally? Does it work then?

Excel is still a multiple document application. When you open two workbooks by double-clicking on them or using File, Open in Excel, they are both opened in the same instance of Excel. The two taskbar icons just shows you have two workbooks open, not two copies of Excel.

Look at the Excel application Minimize, Maximize, Close icons at the top right. Just under them you’ll have another set for the workbooks. If you toggle the Maximize button it will show you both workbooks in the same window.


No it doesn’t. I double-click on the first spreadsheet and it loads Excel - I get the initial splash screen. I double-click on the second spreadsheet and I get another splash screen and another instance of Excel loads. Task Manager shows two Excel applications. I click on the Close “x” and just one of them closes. Clicking the maximize button just maximizes one of them.

It’s weird that you’re seeing different behavior for local Excel files vs ones from Sharepoint. I don’t have Sharepoint here so I can’t test it, but ironically this is a Microsoft forum thread from someone who wants the workbooks to open in separate windows but they are not.

In Options, Advanced, the General section, is “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)” checked? If so, uncheck it.

What if you go to File, Open in Excel once the first document is open and try to open the second one?

It was unchecked.

I have managed to get both files opened in the same instance of Excel. I opened the first from SharePoint as normal. Then I used File->Open and typed in the full path to the SharePoint site, folder and file name. Tomorrow I will see if I can edit them and get them back into SharePoint properly.

This used to work on Vista/Excel 2007. I am having the problems with a new Windows 7/Excel 2010 computer.

Oops - just seen this. Good idea - see my previous post.

You must be using a Windows PC instead of a Mac.

I have Windows 7/Excel 2010 as well. It must be the SharePoint. What happens if you open two workbooks on your local drive?

They load in the same instance of Excel, so it is definitely related to SharePoint. But it used to work with Vista/2007, and I don’t think the SharePoint settings have been changed.