Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once.

Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 11, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Excel provides a complete file management system. One of the features of this system is that you can quickly load multiple workbooks in one easy step. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+O to display the Open dialog box. (In Excel 2013 you'll need to not only press Ctrl+O, but then click Computer and then Browse. In Excel 2016 you'll need to not only press Ctrl+O, but then click This PC and then Browse. In Excel in Office 365 or Excel 2019 you can click on Browse.)
  2. Instead of double-clicking on a file name, start to create a "selection set." If you are selecting sequential files, click on the first file in the sequence, then hold the Shift key as you click on the last. You can add additional files to those selected by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking with the mouse.
  3. To remove files from the selection set, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a file name you previously added to the set.
  4. When you are satisfied with the list, click on Open.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (5677) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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