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Text Truncated in PivotTable

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Text Truncated in PivotTable.

Anil complained that when he created a PivotTable, some of the text in some of the source cells was truncated when it was placed in the PivotTable. He wondered if there were a way around this.

The first thing to do is make sure that the text is actually being truncated. When text is transferred to a cell in a PivotTable, it works much the same as text in the original worksheet. This means that the text is "cut off" when there is data in the cell to the right of the text cell. The full text is still there, but it cannot be displayed because there is not enough room to do so within the cell.

Testing has shown, however, that PivotTables will only transfer up to 255 characters from a source cell. Anything after that is truncated. This limit seems to be hard-coded into Excel, and there is no way around it that I could discover. The limit of 255 characters may seem arbitrary, and it is. I can only surmise that Microsoft needed to establish a length limit on text, and figured that 255 characters should be sufficient for most purposes.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3394) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Text Truncated in PivotTable.

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