Q: When I open Excel on my two separate monitors, Excel doesn’t allow me to use Paste Special, Value, Add; it only works when I have the two workbooks opened on the same monitor. What’s going on, and how do I fix this?
A: The issue is not that you are using two computer monitors, the issue is that you have two instances of Excel open at the same time, and Excel’s paste function behaves differently when pasting between two instances of Excel compared to pasting between two workbooks opened in the same instance of Excel.
Last month’s topic “An Excellent Arrangement” (page 70) provided instructions for displaying two views of a single Excel workbook side by side on a single monitor. Building on this foundation, presented below are similar steps for displaying two Excel workbooks side by side in a single instance of Excel stretched across two monitors. This approach allows you to both view and use Paste Special, Value, Add between two workbooks displayed on separate monitors:
1. Open only one instance of Excel.
2. Restore down the Excel window by double-clicking the Title Bar at the top of the window.
3. Stretch the window across both monitors by hovering your mouse pointer over either the left or right edge of the window until your pointer becomes a double arrow, then click and drag the window across both monitors.
4. Open two Excel workbooks.
5. In Excel 2007 and 2010, from the View tab select Arrange All to display the two workbooks side by side, each appearing in a separate monitor. In Excel 2003, select Arrange from the Window menu, select Tiled, and click OK.
You can now use Paste Special, Value, Add between the two Excel workbooks displayed on separate monitors.
Note: To avoid undesirable results when stretching a window across two monitors, make sure both monitors are set to the same display resolution.
More from the JofA: