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: Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size.

Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 4, 2016)

Joe has a workbook into which he's been adding information for years. The workbook is normally about 5 MB in size, but recently jumped to 10 MB, two times the normal size. Joe was wondering what could cause such an increase.

Actually there are all sorts of reasons that the workbook size could have jumped. One is that you've added some additional objects to the workbook that were not there before, such as graphics objects. It is also possible that changes in any macros attached to the workbook could have greatly increased the file size.

It could also be due to adding a PivotTable or changing how the PivotTable is saved within the workbook. You might also check to see where the last cell in each worksheet is located (press Ctrl+End on each worksheet). If the lower-right corner of the worksheet seems completely out of whack, then you can delete whatever columns or rows are necessary to get the worksheet size back where it should be.

You might also check to see if the workbook is saved with sharing turned on. If it is, then the size of the file can sometimes increase dramatically.

Finally, if you changed the format used to save the workbook, then the file size can increase. Check to make sure that you are using the proper file format for the version of Excel you are using. It is also a good idea to use Save As (press F12) to save the workbook out into a new file, with the proper format. That way Excel will write the workbook file "from scratch" and have the greatest chance of creating the most compact file possible.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3115) 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: Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size.

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

Quickly Increasing Point Size

Want to adjust the size of a text selection? Here's a quick shortcut to increase the size.

Discover More

Controlling Chart Gridlines

Gridlines are often added to charts to help improve the readability of the chart itself. Here's how you can control whether ...

Discover More

Loading Lotus Spreadsheet Files

Spreadsheet programs have been around for a long time, and you may have some data saved in a format used by a spreadsheet ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Jumping Around Folders

When you open a workbook in Excel, the Open dialog box always starts within the folder in which you were last working. You ...

Discover More

Comma-Delimited Differences for PC and Mac

When you choose to save worksheet data in CSV format, Excel gives you three choices for file formats. Those choices are ...

Discover More

Stopping Date Parsing when Opening a CSV File

Excel tries to make sense out of any data that you import from a non-Excel file. Sometimes this can have unwanted results. ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 3 - 2?

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.