I would like to compare two excel spreadsheets. I have found many Windows-based solution but nothing for Mac OS X. Are you aware of

  • a build-in way to perform a diff (didn't find much in the help)
  • a standalone tool (for Mac)
  • an online tool (data is not sensitive, comparing in the cloud would be no problem)

At the moment the only solution I got is exporting to a comma separated file and compare with diff on the command line. I was thinking to write a small Perl script but before investing too much time I wanted to be sure I am not missing a simpler option.

  • Are any of the links on this page any use? excel-mac-compare.fyxm.net Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 6:43
  • @Clare: although the majority of the tools in the list have Mac in the name they are marked as Windows tools. Even Excel Mac Compare download link results in a Windows executable.
    – Matteo
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 7:57
  • Oh dear: sorry for the red herring... Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 8:13

4 Answers 4


Usually what I would do is copy the Excel spreadsheets into Word, then use Word's Merge Documents feature (might have been Merge/Compare or simply Compare Documents previously to 2011) to see the differences between them. Depending on how big your spreadsheet is, however, that might not work for you.

  • It's not so big, I'll try.
    – Matteo
    Commented Sep 17, 2011 at 12:53
  • "copy the Excel spreadsheets into Word" NOooooo jumping off a cliff
    – Adriano
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 11:27
  • @Adrian xkcd.com/763
    – zpletan
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:31

There is a Mac version of Araxis Merge, which is an excellent program for comparing and merging mange kinds of files, and folders of files.

Its History page seems to suggest that it does compare Excel files on Mac.

There's a 30 day evaluation, so you could try it out and see if it does what you need.

(I have no affiliation with the company - am just a very frequent user of the Windows version of the tool)

  • 2
    Thanks for the hint. I tried the results I get are too similar to a comparison of the CSV versions which I can get for free. For 99 EUR I was expecting something more.
    – Matteo
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 6:37
  • This is for Windows only.
    – pinus.acer
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 15:35
  • @pinus.acer There really is a Mac version - I linked to it in the History link in my answer :-) it's here: araxis.com/merge/documentation-os-x/release-notes Commented May 14, 2020 at 16:54
  • 1
    @ClareMacrae thanks and sorry! My bad! 😅
    – pinus.acer
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 11:27

You might want to try this tool. It does the job and it's free. http://www.nunobrum.com/excelcomparator.html

It works in Windows and on MAC OSX. It's based on a VBA macro running in the native Excel Application, so it doesn't need any installations. Only suffice to enable the Macros and it works. Contrary to other Excel comparators, this one also enables you to compare different sheets of the same workbook or, different ranges of the same sheet. Compares Values or Formulas. This tool annotates the differences directly on the sheets you are comparing, and offers the possibility of navigating through the differences on the Report sheet.

Note: the author of this answer is also the author of this donationware software.

  • 5
    Welcome to Ask Different! Even though it's quite obvious from the domain name, you have to state explicitly that it's your own site you're linking to. See How not to be a spammer.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 19:46
  • 1
    I don't think this answer should be penalized so heavily just because of the self-promotion. His software is donationware, vs. the fully commercial options offered in other answers.
    – mph
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 21:51
  • Additionally, I just used it to compare two 46MB workbooks with a couple dozen sheets apiece, and it did an amazing job. The only thing is it doesn't seem to account for insertions, so if one additional row appears in the middle of spreadsheet B when comparing to A, every row after that is considered different. But this seems to be the only tool capable of comparing multi-sheet workbooks.
    – mph
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 22:28

You can compare 2 Excel sheets with highlighting the differences (update, new, removed) cells and rows without using any formula using Dose for Excel Add-In:


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