When I use Excel, I normally have several spreadsheets open so that I can use or reference data from one as I’m creating another one. So, I need to open multiple Excel windows.
Using more exact computer terminology, we’d say "opening multiple Excel instances"
Either way, it means having one Excel window open and opening another Excel window. That way, you can have two Excel spreadsheets showing side-by-side on your monitor, making it easy to do comparisons between them or to copy & paste between them.
In the days of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP, opening a second Excel instance was easy. All you had to do was to click on the icon in your Quick Launch Bar, and you’d immediately get an independent, second Excel window.
But, in Windows 7, that doesn’t work.
Now, the trick is to put an Excel icon on the Windows 7 Task Bar. Clicking on the link opens one instance. But, clicking a second time doesn’t open a second instance.
We can open a second instance of Excel by right-clicking on the Excel icon in the Windows Task Bar, and then selecting Excel from the pop-up "context menu."
By the way, the same trick works with any program that will allow multiple windows of itself.
Now, with a second Excel window open, we can load two different spreadsheets and see both of them at the same time, by sizing the windows appropriately.
One final tip: when you want to open a spreadsheet file by double-clicking its entry in Windows Explorer, the spreadsheet will open in the last Excel window in which you had clicked.