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: Speeding Up Large Worksheets.

Speeding Up Large Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 8, 2016)

Excel users are always looking for ways to speed up large worksheets. If you are using a large worksheet that has lots of static formulas in it, this tip may be of help to you.

Consider the following scenario: You have a large spreadsheet with many hundreds of rows. Each row has a couple of data columns and then a column or two that perform calculations on those data columns. Once the data columns are set, the information in the calculated columns never changes. However, Excel must still perform the calculations every time it goes through a recalculation cycle.

These recalculations obviously slow down Excel. You can see if your worksheet is speedier if you simply copy the cells in the columns being calculated and then use Paste Special to paste them as Values. The formulas are replaced with the calculated values, and Excel no longer has to recalculate hundreds of cells which now contain static values.

If you need to maintain the original formulas that were in the columns, make sure you don't select the top or bottom cells in the calculated columns before doing your copy and paste. These will remain as formulas, and you can copy them as needed at a later date.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2473) 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: Speeding Up Large Worksheets.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Missing Fonts in a Letterhead

When you create a document (such as a letterhead) that you want multiple people to use, you need to be concerned with whether ...

Discover More

Automatically Changing Tab Stops in the Footer

If you use a tab stop in your footer to align information at the right margin, you may not get what you expect when you later ...

Discover More

Strikethrough Shortcut Key

One common type of formatting is strikethrough, which is normally applied from the Font dialog box. There is no built-in ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Ignoring Other Applications

Do you want Excel to ignore other applications that may be running on your computer? You can configure the program to do just ...

Discover More

Hiding a Huge Number of Rows

Need to hide a large number of rows? It's easy to do if you combine a few keyboard shortcuts. Here are several techniques you ...

Discover More

Thoughts and Ideas on Significant Digits in Excel

Ruminations and reflections about significant digits in Excel. Includes examples of how significant digits can affect the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share