Comparing Excel files

When comparing Excel files, the simplest approach is to select the two files to compare and then press [Compare]. 4TOPS Excel Compare subsequently compares all the sheets in the two files and reports the differences.

If the two files contain tables where records may have been added or removed then this approach is not effective as is shown in the following fragment:

A B C D E
1  Product ID   Product Name   Quantity Per Unit   Unit Price   Units In Stock 
2  1   Chai   10 boxes x 20 bags   18   39 
3  2   Chang   24 - 12 oz bottles   20 19   17 
4  3   Aniseed Syrup   12 - 550 ml bottles   10   13 
5  4   Chef Anton's Cajun Seasoning   48 - 6 oz jars   22   53 
6  5   Chef Anton's Gumbo Mix   36 boxes   21.35   0 
7  6   Grandma's Boysenberry Spread   12 - 8 oz jars   25   120 
8  8 7   Northwoods Cranberry Sauce Uncle Bob's Organic Dried Pears   12 - 12 oz jars 12 - 1 lb pkgs.   40 30   6 15 
9  9 8   Mishi Kobe Niku Northwoods Cranberry Sauce   18 - 500 g pkgs. 12 - 12 oz jars   97 40   29 6 
10  10 9   Ikura Mishi Kobe Niku   12 - 200 ml jars 18 - 500 g pkgs.   31 97   31 29 

The only real difference found is line 3 unit price. From line 8 on every cell is considered different. While this is true, it is not very informative. We want to know that the only difference at line 8 is that a line has been added (or removed) and that for the rest there were no differences. To achieve this we have to specify that we are dealing with tables, see Comparing tables in worksheets. For other approaches see Tutorial)

Tutorials on comparing spreadsheets