Microsoft - Excel Compare Tool
Developer Microsoft
First Release 2012
Latest Version n/a
Single License Free with Office Professional
Strongest Points
  • Very convenient and easy to understand interfaces
  • Features to analyze workbooks and worksheets
  • Identifies a good set of difference types and can highlight and un-highlight difference types
  • Results are hyperlinked and are shown in one interface that supports parallel scrolling
  • Embedded help that can be accessed directly within the solution
Weakest Points
  • Only available with Office Professional
  • Does not support automatic updating
  • Does not support database features
  • Lacks filter and setting options


with this Solution…

The below rating is based on our evaluation sheet that gives points for more than 40 different questions. From look and feel, convenience to functionalities… We think we have it all pretty much covered and summarized.

Getting started…
Evaluates how easy it is to get started with the solution and to do the basic setting to compare workbooks, spreadsheets and databases.

Summary: Very easy to get started. The option to analyze files and the visualization of relations is a great plus.

Rating 3.4 / 5

User Experience…
Measures the user experience and the convenience to work with the solution as well as how easy help can be accessed and how helpful the help topics are.

Summary: Very good user interfaces that make navigation very convenient and easy to understand.

Rating 4.3 / 5

Speed and Capacity…
Measures how fast the solution works with small, medium and large files as well as the capacity to identify multiple tasks, such as inserted columns, databases, etc.

Summary: Very good speed but does not support settings for databases and different spreadsheet names.

Rating 3.5 / 5

Features, Options and Customization…
Evaluates filter options, customization features, identified difference types and the capability to handle databases.

Summary: In terms of spreadsheet comparison almost no customization is possible and the available options are very limited.

Rating 1.9 / 5

Result Display…
Measures how well the results are displayed as well as how easy it is to understand them and to navigate through these results.

Summary: Result display is excellent but not all difference types can be found. Highlight and un-highlight function is a great plus.

Rating 3.9 / 5

Use and apply Results…
Measures how the results can be updated/edited and if the solution supports automatic updating of individual differences and entire groups of differences.

Summary: Differences can only be seen but no further support to manage or update these differences.

Rating 1 / 5

Solution Features
and Options…

This breakdown of capabilities shows you at a glance, where each of the solutions delivers and hopefully helps to see, which solutions will meet your needs best.

What general Features does the Solution have?
Compares Spreadsheets
Supports and compares Databases
Allows a 1-to-1 Comparison
Command Line Options
Compares very large Files
Multiple Filter Options
Option setting per worksheet
What makes working convenient?
Directly embedded as Add-In in Excel
Parallel scrolling within two worksheets
Highlight and un-highlight Differences
Multiple Filter Options
Use of multiple Comparison Options
Save repeating Tasks as Projects
Creation of Comparison Templates
Show and hide Difference Types
Command Line Options
Creation of Difference Reports
Creation of hyperlinked Difference Reports
Seamless Workflow with one Interface
Selection of Ranges to be compared
Setting of Value Tolerance for Comparison
Compares multiple Spreadsheets in once
Comprehensive User Manual
Settings/Options for each Worksheet
Automatic updating of differences
What can be customized?
Color Coding for Difference Types
Interface Layout
Comparison Templates
Filters and Options
Repeating Projects
Comparison Tolerance
Which Differences can be found?
Entered Values
Calculated Values
Added and deleted Rows
Added and deleted Columns
Added and deleted Spreadsheets
Spreadsheet Names
Redundant Records
Excel Names
Cell Color Backgrounds
Data Connections
VBA Codes
Number Formats
Cell Alignments
Font Names
Font Styles
Font Sizes
Font Colors
Font Underlines
Font Strikes
Font Super- and Subscripts
Cell Borders
Cell Interiors
Cell Protections
Cell Comments
Font In-String Differences
Which Differences can be automatically updated?
Updating of single Differences
Updating of entire Difference Groups
Entered Values
Calculated Values
Added and deleted Rows
Added and deleted Columns
Redundant Records
Excel Names
Cell Color Backgrounds
Number Formats
Cell Alignments
Font Names
Font Styles
Font Sizes
Font Colors
Font Underlines
Font Strikes
Font Super- and Subscripts
Cell Borders
Cell Interiors
Cell Comments
Font In-String Differences

The solution at a glance…

A Spreadsheet Inquire is an Excel Add-In that is free with Office Professional. It analyzes and compares Excel spreadsheets and shows links between workbooks and worksheets.
B Very good interfaces, hyperlinks and parallel scrolling make it quite easy and convenient to navigate and to explore differences.
C Spreadsheet Inquire has a strong capability in visualizing differences and relationships between cells, spreadsheets and workbooks.
D It is capable to identify a wide range of difference types, including VBA and command lines. Difference types can be highlighted or un-highlighted with just a click.
E The solution is only built to analyze and compare Excel spreadsheets. It does not allow to automatically update single differences or difference groups.
Our Overall 2.9 / 5



1. Synkronizer
2. xlCompare
3. Microsoft
4. Sourceforge
5. DiffEngineX
6. Compare Spreadsheets
7. Formula Soft
8. 4TOPS

Look & Feel – Screenshots

Basic interface from which workbooks and spreadsheets can be either analyzed or compared. Important is, that the first workbook needs to be active already in order to start Inquire.

Microsoft - Compare Excel Workbooks Online

Clicking on “Compare Files” opens the pop-up to define which files to compare. Important is to define, which file should be the master.

Microsoft - Compare Multiple Spreadsheets

The Workbook Analysis comes quite handy and gives a very detailed overview of the entire workbook.

Microsoft - Compare Excel Files for Highlighting Differences

Visualizes the relationships within a workbook, spreadsheet or cells. This feature is unique for Inquire only.

Microsoft - Compare Multiple Excel Files

Main interface that shows the results of a comparison task. Results can be easily exported. In our opinion, we really like the way to have all relevant elements in a single interface that is quite easy to understand.

Microsoft - Compare Two Excel Files Online

Options whether to process contents for inserted or deleted rows and columns. Passwords for protected worksheets or workbooks can be entered to process them.

Microsoft - Compare and Merge Excel Files

Parallel scrolling and jumping within worksheets makes the navigation and difference viewing very convenient.

Microsoft - Compare Excel Files Online

Color coded difference types that can be highlighted or un-highlighted with a single click. Un-checking a box, will instantly change the color coded cells in the active spreadsheet.

Microsoft - Compare Excel Files & Highlight Differences

Hyperlinked difference report with descriptions for each difference. Also this, in our opinion, is very simple and easy to understand.

Microsoft - Top Excel Comparison Tool

The difference report can be exported into Excel for further editing or viewing. Unfortunately Inquire has no feature to update differences. The workflow ends by viewing differences only.

Microsoft - Best Excel Compare Tool