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Google Sheets – Split view and new window

If you are working on a large table of data in Google Sheets, often it is helpful to be able to see and edit more than one area of the spreadsheet at a time. This is not available from the menus in Sheets and is one of the few ways in which Excel is superior to Sheets. There is the option to Freeze rows or columns, but the frozen section of the spreadsheet will not independently move and therefore the Freeze option is limited to applications such as freezing headers at the top or side of a spreadsheet. Further, if you headers are half way down the spreadsheet, the Freeze option will not do you any good.

The solution

If you are working on a mobile device you may be out of luck, but if you are accessing Sheets through a browser, there is a great work around that will allow you to see the same spreadsheet in two or more different windows. You can even spread these views over multiple monitors which you cannot do in Excel without some pretty nasty workarounds.

Watch the video

If you are using the Chrome browser, do the following:

First, be sure to have your spreadsheet open in your browser. Then, open a new browser tab by pressing “t” while holding down the control button (ctl+t) or clicking the shape to the right of your open tab.

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Once you have a new tab open, the first thing you do is open the same spreadsheet again in this new window. Now, you have the spreadsheet open in two places. You can edit it in either window. Click and hold your left mouse button on the middle of the new tab, where the title of the page is, and pull the tab away from the browse. In browsers other than chrome, you may have have to open another browser window. This creates a new window with a separate instance of Chrome (or other browser) but keeps the spreadsheet inside of it.

If you want more windows, just repeat the same process. To rearrange the windows, you can use the Windows key. Hold the Windows key down and press the left arrow to have the window fill up the left half of the screen and the right arrow for the right half. You also can resize the windows the more traditional way with your mouse. If you have multiple monitors, you can spread these windows across them.

Using multiple tabs in other browsers

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Update: Thanks to ADTC in the comments below for this tip. If you’re using Chrome, you can just right-click on the tab that you’re using and choose duplicate.

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