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In Excel 2003, It seems to be putting each spreadsheet I open into the existing Excel application as a new window. this makes it very difficult in a dual monitor set up to put one spreadsheet on each monitor.

Is there a way to force Excel to make a new instance of itself every time I open a new spreadsheet?

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migrated from Nov 2 '10 at 11:39

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

This will do what you want:

  1. Open the Registry Editor, browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.8\shell\Open

  2. Delete the ddeexec key, (or just rename it if you are worried - I just renamed it and it worked)

  3. Click on the "command" key and replace the /e on the end of the (Default) and command strings in that key with "%1"

    The quotes around %1 are important and must be added.

    After the change the lines should look like this:

    (Default)   REG_SZ   "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office11\EXCEL.EXE" "%1 
    command   REG_MULTI_SZ   ']gAVn-}f(ZXfeAR6.jiEXCELFiles>!De@]Vz(r=f`1lfq`?R& "%1"
  4. Make the same changes to Excel.Sheet.12

Now both .xls and .xlsx should open in new windows with no errors.

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If the files are static (on your desktop, My Docs, etc) then you can reference this link:

If you have random files (from the Internet, E-Mail, etc) then you can do this to change the way it opens all XLS files to open in a new instance:

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I actually tried the Drewery link instructions a while ago and it didn't work, and now I get like 5 errors I have to click through before Excel opens :-( – Greg Oct 17 '08 at 18:34
Did you also deselect the 'DDE' and 'OK' through it? Try pasting my path into it: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE" /e "%1" – JFV Oct 17 '08 at 18:54
Ok, that worked. Thanks! – Greg Oct 17 '08 at 19:14

If you like the existing behavior of opening documents in the current instance, and occasionally need a second copy of Excel to run, you can just launch a second copy of Excel from your favorite shortcut and drag-and-drop in the file you want.

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The following would work for Win7 64 bit,(right click excel and open in new instance submenu) Open a notepad and paste the following and save it as:- Excel OpenInNewInstance.reg and right click merge…. you are done.. right click your excels and open in new instance

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Open In New Instance"

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\EXCEL.EXE\" \"%1\""

@="Open In New Instance"

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\EXCEL.EXE\" \"%1\""
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