(Note: the video may not reflect the latest upgrades. Please use the guide below.)
Safely keep revision history, track and compare changes in Excel spreadsheets
- Track changes made to a workbook
- Review change log and see who modified the file and when
- Recover and roll back to any previous version
- Compare versions and highlight modified cells
- Store revision history in a Git repository on your own PC
Before you begin, add Version Control to Excel
– free trial gives you 14 days of full access to all features.
How to enable Version Control in Excel and start tracking changes
- Open a workbook Click the Enable button on XLTools tab.
- In the Settings window, click Enable Done, now you are tracking changes and history of the spreadsheet. Next, you can commit versions of the workbook.
Or: Open XLTools Settings Version Control tab Enable.
How to commit versions of Excel workbook to Change Log
- Click the Commit Changes button A dialogue box will open.
- Add a descriptive comment, e.g. "Initial version" OK Done, the initial version is saved to Change Log.
- Make changes When ready to commit the version, click Commit Changes.
- Add a comment OK.
Tip: create descriptive comments. It will help tell the versions apart and search for the necessary version in the Change Log.
- Open XLTools Settings Version Control tab.
- Check the box "Commit a version to Change Log every time I save a workbook with changes".
How to preview and diff recent changes before committing a version
- Edit the workbook Click Commit Changes A window will open.
- To preview and diff changes, double-click on the modified worksheet name in the list.
- A temporary file will open, and the Newer version will have the changed cells highlighted in red color.
- Review the result Close the temporary file Click OK to commit this new version, or Cancel to go back to editing the workbook.
How Excel spreadsheet versions are saved to Git repository
Important: do NOT delete, rename or move this repository folder. Otherwise the revision history will be lost.
How to navigate the Change Log and see who made changes and when
- Review the list of versions: it displays comments, authors and the time the version was committed. You can see who made changes and when.
- Filter the committed versions and search for the version you need. Type what you are looking for, and the search will run through version names, comments, authors and dates.
- Review the tools in the menu: you can expand and collapse the list, open, save, roll back to, diff and compare versions.
How to compare two versions of an Excel worksheet
Note: the Version Control tool compares the values in cells. If the values are different in the two versions, the cell will be highlighted. Version Control does not (yet) track changes to formulas, formats, added or removed rows and columns.
- Click the Change Log button Select any worksheet version.
- In the log's menu, or in the right-click context menu, select Diff with Previous version or Diff with Current version.
- A temporary workbook will open, and the modified cells will be highlighted.
How to compare two workbook versions with Inquire Add-in
- Click the Change Log button Select any workbook version.
- In the log's menu, or in the right-click context menu, select Diff with Previous version in Inquire or Diff with Current version in Inquire.
- The result of the comparison will open in Inquire.
How to restore and roll back to a previous version of Excel workbook
- Click the Change Log button Select the workbook version you need.
- In the log's menu, or in the right-click context menu, select the operation you need:
- Open this workbook version
- Save this workbook version as
- Roll back to this version
How to use Version Control for a shared Excel workbook
- Make sure that all your team members have XLTools add-in installed on their PCs.
- Place the workbook in a shared folder on a local disk Share the workbook with your team Provide reading and writing permissions. This prevents anyone outside the group from editing the workbook under versioning.
- Each member can commit and compare versions and view the Change Log.