How to work on Excel when it is busy

This is a common requirement. We have started some time consuming operation like adding a field to a large pivot table, or fetching data from a database, or refreshing some complex calculations. In such cases Excel seems to be unresponsive. Not only the current file is unusable, other files opened are also not editable. Things just freeze till the time and resource consuming activity finishes.

Of course, that is a total waste of time. You want to do something else on another Excel file during this time. The solution is to create another instance of Excel.

  • When you are about to start a time consuming operation, make sure no other Excel files are open. Start the operation on the file and leave it alone.
  • Now right click on the Excel icon in the Taskbar and choose Excel (whichever version) again. This way you open an independent copy of Excel. This copy is not busy at all.Open an independent copy of Excel when it is busy processing another copy
  • Now you open other Excel files here and continue working while the other copy is executing the time consuming job. That’s it.

This concept is not applicable just to Excel. The same logic applies to any application which can get busy and block you from working on other files.

Comments? Suggestions? Wish list?