Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once.

Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2018)


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. Choose Open from the File menu. Excel displays the Open dialog box.
  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 (2221) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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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What is six more than 8?

2018-02-03 12:29:39


This use to work great in Excel 2010. If I selected four or five files, they would be opened and listed across the taskbar in alphabetical order. In Excel 2016, they aren't opened in alphabetical order. Doesn't matter what order I select the files. How do I get this to work in the rational manner of opening the files and listing them alphabetically?

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