by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2014)
John reported that it is possible to create a workbook that is larger than Excel can handle. For instance, he successfully imported about 65,000 rows of data into a worksheet where all the data was a single column wide. He then added about 25 columns worth of formulas with no problem. He saved the file, and it occupied about 84 MB on the hard drive.
When John went to reopen the workbook, Excel balked, giving the message "Not Enough Memory," despite the fact that he had previously had the workbook open in Excel when he created it, and despite the fact that his system had more than enough RAM in it.
John was using Excel 2000 at the time that he generated this error. In researching solutions, he found that for versions prior to Excel 2002 there is a 64 MB limit on Excel's memory usage. This limit was increased to 128 MB in Excel 2002, and to a full 1 GB in Excel 2003. Details are found in the following Knowledge Base article:
It is interesting to note that these memory limits are per-instance, which means that you may have troubles if you open multiple workbooks whose aggregate memory usage approaches or exceeds the limits noted above. Thus, if you have several very large workbooks, you may want to open them in separate instances of Excel.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2827) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!
By using a command-line switch, Excel can be started in safe mode. This means that the program is loaded with bare-bones ...Discover More
Referring to cells is typically done using a letter and a number, which represent the column and row. That's not the only way ...Discover More
Move from one worksheet to another, and Excel selects whatever cell was last used in the worksheet you are selecting. If you ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.