How to find and report differences between two Excel files

Very often you need to analyze spreadsheet, modify some cells or VBA code and give this file back with explanation – what you’ve changed in this Excel file.

For the Excel user this is common situation:

  • You’ve received a spreadsheet from your colleague, edited it and need to send it back, with a detailed description of the modifications made.
  • You need to change clients Excel workbook and report him what you’ve changed in his spreadsheet.
  • And so on. There are many business cases where you should report the difference between two or more Excel worksheets.

All differences found by xlCompare utility between two compared Excel files are listed in the Difference Explorer.

Difference Explorer

This window contains structured list of the differences, grouped by worksheet and by type of modification:

  • Inserted Rows
  • Deleted Rows
  • Inserted Columns
  • Deleted Columns
  • Edited Cells and Formulas

To get more information on how to compare to Excel files using xlCompare Diff Tool and get the difference explorer, visit this page:

xlCompare is a diff and merge tool for Excel files. Difference Report is one of the features, implemented in the application.

To get difference report, for compared Excel spreadsheets, use Difference Report button above this list.

Difference Report Command

Button opens Difference Report window. Here you can browse all differences combined into form of structured summary report.

Difference Report Window

This list is outlined to simplify navigation. Expand or collapse groups of report items.

Every edited formula or constant cell value appear in this list with highlighted difference. xlCompare reflects change in the cells value or text of the formula with highlighted colors. Red and Green letters indicate added or removed parts of the text.

This window is like a Print Preview. You see how Difference Report looks and how it will look for the person, who receives this file.

To transfer it to your colleague, use buttons on the left side of the report window:

  • Copy Report Copy. Copies report to clipboard with color formatting. With this command you can paste report into e-mail window in the Outlook or paste into Microsoft Word.
  • Export Report to Excel Export to Excel. This command saves report as XLSX file. In the Excel workbook it will look exactly as you see in the preview.
  • Export Report to PDF Export to PDF. Save Difference Report as PDF document.
  • Export Report to HTML Export to HTML. Report is saved in the HTML document.

Excel workbook is the best format to transfer difference report to other users.

In this example we’ve presented you Difference Report for a Compares Price Lists example, presented on the How it Works page.

For other workbooks, report is similar – with highlighted changes in formulas and values. Please look into this example for calculations spreadsheet. We’ve compared two worksheets with set of changed formulas.

Difference Report below clearly identifies changes made. In the form of XLSX file we’ve sent it to our customer.

Difference Report for two Excel files

Download xlCompare

Pick the version suitable for your Windows. A free trial is available to help you with the decision-making.

Current Version: 9.3.11

Build Date: 4/27/2021


Version History

During 10+ years our team is working to provide you a robust and quality software. It boosts your productivity and saves you time and money. Just look into our list of changes on the page below to imagine amount of work done on the product.

Supported Versions

Microsoft Windows

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

64-bit and 32-bit versions are supported

Microsoft Excel

xlCompare is based on the Spreadsheet Core engine.

It doesn't require Microsoft Excel to be installed.

Questions & Answers


Which version to choose - 64-bit or 32-bit?
If you have 64-bit Windows - install 64-bit version of the xlCompare. It allows to open larger workbooks and use full power of your 64-bit processor.
How does the 30-day trial work?
Once you decide to use xlCompare, you can run a 30-day free trial first. Including all the product features, it will help you decide which features are of the greatest value to you. Once the 30 day period is over, you will be asked to make your choice.
Are there any special requirements?
No, xlCompare is a completely independent software - it doesn't have any special requirements. You can install it on the any Windows PC. Just download, install and use.
Do you offer discounts for students?
We offer student and non-profit discounts. Just open a private discussion with us, verify your status and we will provide you with a 25% discount on the regular price. We may ask you to confirm your status with documentation, so please get ready to verify that.