4TOPS Compare Excel Files

This topic documents the controls available on the tabs of the Compare Excel Files form. For discussion on how to do different types of comparisons see:


Click on the control or select from the list below to jump to more information.


Starting a comparison is done in three steps:

Several features have been added to speed up the process of comparison. First, previous comparisons can be saved by pressing the [Save] button. Saved comparisons can be reopened from the Comparison combo box.

Next, previously selected files are listed in the combo boxes for File and Compare With. This gives an alternative to selecting a file using the File Open dialog [...].


Saved comparisons can be reopened from the Comparison combo box. In this box also is available the <last comparison> you did. Selecting the empty line clears all wizard selections.


Press the X right of the Comparison combo box to remove the selected saved comparison.


Previously selected files are listed in the combo box. ... Use the [...]-button to open the File Open dialog.

Compare With File

Select file to compare with. You can select the same file if you want to compare two worksheets located in the same file.


Range Rows Columns


Select Range for comparing Excel files or comparing Excel worksheets

Select sheet

Sheet Range ...


Specify which Worksheet in the file to compare. Optionally specify one or more Ranges.

Compare with (optional)

CompareWithSheet CompareWithRange ...


Specify which workheet and Range to CompareWith.

Tables properties Rows

StartRow ... EndRow ... IdentifyingColumns ... IgnoreColumns ... Rows


Start Row

First row in the sheet to start comparison on (default value 1).

End Row

If left empty then comparison continues until no more rows are available for comparison.

Identifying Columns

This indicates which column contains the value that can be used as an identifier for the record. The selected column is tested to see if it is usable as a key: no duplicate values..

Ignore Columns

Indicate which columns should be excluded from the comparison. This can be useful if a certain does not contain interesting info, or if it is used for a different purpose and as such not to be considered part of the table.

Tables properties Columns

StartColumn ... EndColumn ... IdentifyingRows ... IgnoreRows ...


Start Column, End Column, Identifying Rows and Ignore Rows are used the same way as with Rows (vertical oriented table)


Difference Analysis Differences Visualized Compare Formulas

The results of the comparison process are presented in two complementary ways:

Both reports are in HTML. This makes the presentation very readable and allows for a direct move from a line in the Difference Analysis to the corresponding location in the Visualization report using a hyperlink. For an example see Comparing tables in worksheets.

You can choose to have the reports generated under a given name and whether you want it to be opened. If you leave [Save in] empty and remove the check from [Open Report] the report is not created.

Difference Analysis


Save in...

Specify the file name you want to save the report with.


Select a template to use for the report. Allows for Customized reporting.

Open Report


If not checked the new analysis will overwrite existing file. If Append IS checked the comparison results are appended to that file.

Differences Visualized


Show rows with differences only is useful if the number of changed rows is limited.

The other fields in this group have the same meaning as described with Difference Analysis above.

Configuration File

see Customized reporting

Compare Formulas

By default to save time only data are compared. Check this if you also want to find differences in formulas.


Open this topic


Opens license entry dialog


End the program

< Back

Go back one step in comparison definition

> Next

Go to the next step in comparison definition


Start the comparison process


Save comparisons settings to reapply later


Create the code corresponding to the current settings to use in an automated process (ActiveX, see Comparing Excel files using code)


Tutorials on comparing spreadsheets