How to Compare and Combine Two Spreadsheets

by Kara Page

Microsoft Excel is a commonly used program for both businesses and individuals to track and calculate data. In some cases, you may end up with two spreadsheets with separate but related data that you want to compare on one page. In this case, you will need to combine the two spreadsheets. Once the spreadsheets are merged, you will be able to see the information on both to make your comparison in chart or graph form.

Launch Excel and open both of your spreadsheets. Go to the "Office" button (or "File" for earlier versions of Excel) and select "Save As," then create a back up of each spreadsheet. Close the backups when you finish and return to the original two spreadsheets.

Adjust the column and row headings so that they follow the same format in both spreadsheets. Each heading should be in the same location in order for the data to be combined; for example, if column A is "Hourly Wage" in the first spreadsheet, it must be so in the second spreadsheet.

Click "New" to open a new spreadsheet. Click on the first cell (A1), then click the "Data" tab. Under "Data Tools," select "Consolidate."

Select the summary function you want Excel to use in the "Function" box. Type the name you gave to the range and click "Add," repeating as many times as necessary for every range.

Select "Create Links to Source Data" (if the spreadsheets are in separate workbooks) or leave it unchecked if you want to update the consolidation manually. Click "Save."

About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.

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