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: Duplicate Workbooks Opening.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 1, 2017)
Joan has a problem with one of her Excel workbooks: When she opens it, Excel always "replicates" the workbook. Once opened, Joan reports that she has two workbooks showing in the task bar. Both contain the proper workbook name, but one is followed by a 1 and the other followed by a 2.
Believe it or not, this problem is actually a feature of Excel. What you are seeing is two windows, both open on the same workbook. Excel allows you to create multiple windows on the same workbook by using the Window | New Window. Each new window has the same name, except they have a suffix consisting of a colon and a number that indicates the window number (1, 2, 3, etc.).
When you save a workbook that has multiple windows, the next time you open the workbook it will display the same number of windows. If you want to get rid of some of the windows, you need to close them. You do this by clicking the Close Window control. (This is the X at the upper-right corner of the worksheet, not at the upper-right of the program window. It is black, not red, although it should be just below the red X. If you hover the mouse pointer over it, you'll see the ToolTip "Close Window" appear.)
Once you close any windows you don't want, save the workbook again. The next time you open it, you should see only a single window.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2994) 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: Duplicate Workbooks Opening.
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