Excel Compare Two Files

In this tutorial, I will be talking about How to Compare Two Excel Files? So for this, you will have to Turn on the Inquire Add-In.

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This Add-In was given by Microsoft so that you can activate in different versions like Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Office for Business

Note – If you are using the Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 Version then you will not be able to access this feature

How to Turn on the Inquire Add-in Feature?

To Turn on this feature you have to follow the steps given below:

1. Click on “File”

2. Scroll down and click on “Option”

3. A screen will pop up and click on “Add-ins” option on the left side

4. By clicking on the add-ins option go down and click on the “Excel Add-ins” option

5. After clicking, select the “COM Add-ins option”

6. Click on “Go”

7. Lastly, select the “Inquire option” and click on “Ok”

Note – If your software supports this feature then only you will see this “Inquire Option in your Excel

Now, after activating this feature make sure you have two files opened for which you have to compare in Excel. After opening both the files having similarities.

So to compare and check any changes in both the files what you have to do is:

1. Go to “Base File”

2. Click on the “Inquire” option and select the “Compare Files” option

3. A screen will pop up saying which files you want to compare in Excel

4. Select the “File 1” and “File 2” and click on the “Compare” button

5. Lastly, click on “Yes” to save your changes

6. After activating the comparing feature a new window will open like a screen which is named as “Spreadsheet Compare”

So basically, in this we have compared 2 different files along with different colors and in the bottom left corner you can check the meaning of the colors applied in Excel

So if you are getting confused then don’t worry, to get rid of your confusion let me understand you with the help of an example:

1. The Green Color indicates that the numbers are changed

2. The Purple Color indicates that there is a change in formulas

So whichever tricks I have applied in this Screen you will get to know with the help of an example is given below:


There are 2 main reasons which you all have to understand while comparing both the files. So After opening both the files you will see that:

File 1:

1. In File 1 the Hard Coded Sum is applied in the cells and Hard Coded Formula is applied in last cell

2. The numbers applied are different from File 2

File 2:

This is the original file from which we are comparing

1. In File 2 the Sum Formula is applied in order to compare the files

2. The numbers applied are different from File 1