Ya’ know, I’d noticed this, but it hadn’t bugged me. Then a student asked if I could fix it.
Way back when, I’m sure that Excel only opened up one spreadsheet at a time.
Then at some point they allowed you to multitask with them, and up until Excel 2003, Excel opened each spreadsheet in its own window.
But then they switched, so Excel 2003, 2007 and 2010 opened up multiple spreadsheets in the same window.
And now they’ve switched back with Excel 2013.
So my student still has Excel 2010 in their office, but is in a class with Excel 2013, and likes how it opens spreadsheets in different windows. So they asked how to do it in 2010 until they get upgraded.*
These are actually features rather than bugs.
It also turns out that it is a super-easy workaround to get Excel 2010 and earlier to open spreadsheets in different windows. Here goes:
- Find where your excel.exe file is stored (usually in something like c:\program files\microsoft office\office12).
- Create a shortcut to excel.exe (Windows will probably want to put this on your desktop).
- Move that shortcut to the folder containing the shortcuts that show up under “Send To” when you open a context menu by right-clicking on a file. This is probably something like c:\users\<your user name>\appdata\roaming\microsoft\windows\send to.
- Now, any time you already have a spreadsheet open in an Excel window, open the second spreadsheet by right-clicking on it, and choosing Send To, and then your new Excel shortcut. Voilà! Two Excel files in two separate Excel windows.
* It turns out I have the same problem: 2013 in the office, 2010 and 2007 on different machines at home.