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

Read-Only Files

Read-only documents (those that cannot be updated) are part and parcel of working with Word. There are many ways that a ...

Discover More

Specifying the Behavior of the Enter Key

When you press Enter while adding information to a worksheet, Excel normally drops to the next cell down in the column. You ...

Discover More

Displaying Nonprinting Characters

Nonprinting characters are a great boon when you are editing a document. Turn them on and you can easily see what characters ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Taskbar Setting isn't Sticky

Understanding how Excel sets the taskbars upon opening.

Discover More

Fill Color Doesn't Display

If you apply a fill color to a range of cells and notice that the color doesn't show up on the screen, it could be because of ...

Discover More

Limiting Precision

There may be times you need to limit the amount of precision Excel uses in its calculations. Here is one way to accomplish ...

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:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 7?

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.

Newest Tips
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