HomeTechniques and TipsAll ProductsOpening a Second Instance of Excel

1.6. Opening a Second Instance of Excel

While I'm using Palisade software, can I open a workbook and not have the Palisade software in the ribbon for that workbook?

Yes, you can, and this lets you work in that second copy of Excel while @RISK (Evolver, NeuralTools, ...) is running its analysis in the first copy of Excel. In that second copy of Excel, don't run a Palisade product.  (If you want to work on a workbook that contains @RISK functions, they will all appear in the cells as #NAME.  However, you can edit the formulas in the formula bar, copy/paste formulas, and so on.)

The terminology is important here—opening a second instance of Excel is not the same thing as opening a second workbook in Excel. If you open a second workbook, the existing copy of Excel opens it, so you have one copy of Excel running and there's one Excel line in Task Manager. You can have multiple workbooks open when running our software, but don't switch workbooks while a simulation or other analysis is running. By contrast, when you open a second instance, Windows loads a fresh second copy of Excel, and Task Manager shows two Excel lines. Our software will fail with "Object initialized twice" or another message if you try to open it in a second instance of Excel.

Confusingly, Excel 2013 and newer look like second instances when you simply open a second workbook. They show multiple taskbar icons, usually stacked. The Windows actions to switch to a different program will switch between those workbooks, even though they're open in the same program. The only way to be sure is to look at Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) to determine whether there's one line for Excel, or more than one.

Only these specific actions will open a second instance of Excel:

Important: Don't attempt to run any Palisade software in that second instance of Excel.

I followed directions, but @RISK appeared in the second copy of Excel anyway.

First, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager, and verify that there are two Excel lines. If not, you probably let go of the Alt key too soon. Assuming there are two Excels, @RISK opened in the second instance because you have it set to launch whenever Excel launches.

Remember, you can't have two copies of Excel both running palisade software, even different Palisade applications. If you want to use multiple instances of Excel, you must prevent that, as follows:

  1. Close one copy of Excel.
  2. In the other copy, click File » Options » Add-Ins. (In Excel 2007, click the round Office button, then Excel Options » Add-Ins.)
  3. At the bottom of the right-hand panel, click the Go button next to Manage: Excel Add-Ins.
  4. Remove the tick marks on all Palisade software.

Last edited: 2017-11-28

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