How To Fix The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding the common causes of the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel is crucial for troubleshooting and fixing the issue. These include formatting cells individually, copying and pasting cells with different formatting, and using conditional formatting.
  • Reducing the number of cell formats, clearing formatting from cells, and using conditional formatting are effective solutions for fixing the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel. Additionally, advanced techniques such as automating formatting with VBA, using Excel tables, and named ranges can also prevent the error.
  • Fixing the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel is possible with the right knowledge and techniques. By following the steps outlined in this guide, users can prevent the error from occurring and improve their Excel skills overall.

Are you frustrated by the “too many cell formats” error while using Excel? Discover how to quickly and easily fix this common issue, so you can get back to your work quickly. You’ll be amazed how simple it is!

Understanding the Common Causes of the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error

What is the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error?

It’s when Excel reaches its limit on the number of unique cell formats.

Cause 1: Applying multiple formatting styles to cells in the same worksheet.

Cause 2: Importing data from different sources with different formatting styles.

To avoid this error:

  • Plan your formatting style.
  • Create a stylesheet for consistency in formatting across the workbook.

Identifying and Troubleshooting the Error: A Step-by-Step Guide:

Let’s look at how to troubleshoot this issue if it does occur.

Identifying and Troubleshooting the Error: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re trying to fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel, the first step is to identify and troubleshoot the problem. Here’s a 6-step guide to help you out:

  1. Save your Excel workbook to avoid losing any unsaved data.
  2. Close any unused apps or workbooks to free up memory.
  3. Find the corrupt cells by using trial and error on each worksheet in the workbook.
  4. Clear formatting on the cells that are causing the issue.
  5. Consolidate worksheets with similar data types, to reduce cell formats.
  6. If none of these help, create a new Excel workbook and copy-paste essential data.

Now, let’s take a closer look. This error can happen when you try to format cells or apply conditional formatting across the entire worksheet. It can be especially frustrating if you’re working on a big project with lots of worksheets or workbooks.

The issue could be caused by too many custom styles applied in different cells of multiple worksheets. Every time you apply a style, Excel needs more space and memory.

But don’t worry – following our 6-step guide can easily help you solve this problem quickly. People have found hundreds of cell formats on one worksheet. Imagine how much time they’d have wasted if they didn’t know how to fix it.

Now that we’ve identified the factors that contribute to this error, let’s move on to some solutions. Stay tuned for our ‘Solutions to Fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error’ header!

Solutions to Fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error

Do you always battle with the pesky ‘Too Many Cell Formats‘ error in Excel? You’re not alone! It’s really annoying, especially when you have an urgent data analysis task. Thankfully, it can be fixed. Here are some tips to help.

  1. Reduce the number of cell formats
  2. Delete formatting from cells manually
  3. Use conditional formatting

Let’s begin troubleshooting this issue!

Reduce the Number of Cell Formats to Prevent the Error

Select all your cells. Click ‘Format’ and select ‘Clear Formats’. A message will appear and ask “Are you sure?”. Click ‘Yes’.

Then, click ‘Format’ again and choose ‘AutoFit Row Height‘. This will adjust the cell sizes based on their content.

Reducing the number of cell formats is essential as Excel limits you to 4,000 different styles or formats per workbook. Each time you apply a new format, it counts as one style. If you go over the limit, you will get the ‘Too Many Cell Formats‘ error.

To avoid this, try to keep formatting simple and consistent. Don’t use too many font sizes and colors, and keep formatting uniform.

If you encounter this error, reduce the number of cell formats. It may take time to clear all the formats and use AutoFit Row Height for every row, but it’s worth it. That way, you won’t lose crucial data due to Excel errors. So reduce those cell formats!

Clear Formatting from Cells to Fix the Error

Fixing the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel is simple. Select the affected cells. Then, click ‘Clear Formatting’ in the ‘Editing’ section of the Home tab. Save and close Excel. When you open the spreadsheet again, see if the error has been corrected.

Clearing formatting is effective because it removes unnecessary formats. This reduces the number of unique styles applied to individual cells. Thus, preventing errors.

Alternatively, you can use conditional formatting or adjust your workbook design to reduce the number of unique cell formats.

One user experienced this error while collaborating with others. They used ‘Clear Formatting’ to remove conflicting styles. This solved the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error so they could keep working.

Another option for fixing this error is conditional formatting. This involves setting rules for how certain data should be formatted. Read on for more info about this approach.

Using Conditional Formatting to Overcome the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error

Fighting the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel? Conditional formatting can help. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open the sheet and select the range of cells to format.
  2. On the toolbar, click “Home” and “Conditional Formatting”.
  3. Select “New Rule” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Choose “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”
  5. Enter “=LEN(FORMULATEXT(A1))>255” in the formula box.
  6. Click “Format” and pick desired formatting options.

Using conditional formatting can reduce the number of unique cell styles in the sheet, which is often the cause of this error message. Applying this solution should allow you to format your data without errors.

It’s worth noting that this may not fix all instances of the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error. Other solutions, or a combination of methods, may be necessary.

If this doesn’t work or you don’t know how to use conditional formatting, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

I once had a client with this issue. After trying different fixes and researching for hours, we eventually stumbled upon conditional formatting. We tried it out, and it fixed our problem quickly and easily.

Next up: Advanced Techniques to Fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error

Advanced Techniques to Fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error


I’ve received the “Too Many Cell Formats” error while working in Excel. It’s tough to understand, and even tougher to fix. So, I’ll share some pro tips to solve it. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Automation of formatting with VBA
  2. Using Excel tables to stop the error
  3. Stopping it with named ranges

Let’s get started!

Automating Formatting with VBA in Excel

  1. Open the Developer tab:
    • Go to File.
    • Click Options.
    • Choose Customize Ribbon.
    • Select the checkbox next to Developer under Main Tabs.
  2. Create a new macro:
    • Navigate to the Developer tab.
    • Click Visual Basic.
    • Go to File, then New, and Module.
    • Paste your desired VBA code.
  3. Customize your macro:
    • Modify your VBA code as needed.
    • Format specific cells or ranges based on content.
    • Adjust row heights and column widths.
    • Insert new sheets into your workbook.
  4. Run your macro:
    • Go back to Excel.
    • Click the Macros button found under the Developer tab.
    • Select the macro from the list.
    • Click Run.

VBA in Excel is a great time-saver for people who use complex spreadsheets. With a little coding knowledge, you can make custom macros to simplify tasks. This can free up more time for other important tasks. For example, I saw a colleague spend hours manually formatting a large sheet. But, after learning about VBA macros, they were done in seconds! We’ll also cover Excel Tables, which can help prevent the “Too Many Cell Formats” error.

How to Use Excel Tables to Prevent the Error

Tables in Excel can help keep the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error away. Here’s how:

  1. Select the Data Range.
    Click any cell inside your data range.
    Press Ctrl + A to select it all.
  2. Create a Table.
    Go to Home > Styles > Format as Table.
    Pick one of the predefined formats.
    If your data has headers, tick the “My table has headers” option.
  3. Check Your Data.
    Check for errors after creating the table.
    Errors can be due to wrong or missing data, inconsistent units, or formulas not connected to any cells.
    Correct any errors and reorganize the data if needed.

Using Tables guarantees consistent formatting, avoiding the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error. Plus, tables auto-update when new rows or columns are added.

One user had a large dataset with various formatting styles, and the error kept popping up. Until they changed it to a table format. Then, they could sort and manipulate their data seamlessly.

Next is ‘Using Named Ranges to Keep the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error at Bay’, which is another great technique for managing large datasets in Excel.

Using Named Ranges to Keep the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error at Bay

Select the range of cells you want to name, then go to ‘Formulas’ and click ‘Define Name’ under the ‘Defined Names’ section.

Type a name for your range in the pop-up window and hit OK.

Replace individual cells with this named range. This’ll avoid ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error and make it easier to manage large spreadsheets.

Microsoft recommends it as an efficient way to work with formulas and functions.

Using named ranges provides an alternative way to refer to a cell or group of cells. So, utilize them to keep cell formats at bay and boost productivity in Excel.

Five Facts About How to Fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel:

  • ✅ The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error in Excel occurs when there are more than 4,000 different cell formats in a workbook. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ To fix the error, you can try deleting unused styles, merging similar styles, or clearing formatting from cells. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ You can also try copying the data to a new workbook or using a macro to fix the error. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ The error can slow down your spreadsheet and make it difficult to manage and navigate. (Source: Spreadsheet Guru)
  • ✅ The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error can be prevented by using consistent formatting and styles throughout your workbook and minimizing the use of unnecessary styles. (Source: ExcelJet)

FAQs about How To Fix The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error In Excel

What causes the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel?

The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel is caused by having too many unique formatting styles applied to cells in a workbook. Excel has a limit of 4,000 unique formatting styles, and once this limit is reached, any further changes in formatting can trigger the error message.

How do I fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel?

To fix the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel, you can try several solutions, such as: deleting unused styles, consolidating similar styles, removing conditional formatting, and selecting a default style for the workbook. These steps can be done by going to the “Home” tab, clicking “Styles,” and choosing “Manage Styles.”

What is the impact of ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel?

The ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel can significantly affect the performance of your workbook, leading to slow calculations, freezing, and crashing. It can also prevent you from making further changes in formatting and may corrupt the file in some cases.

Can I increase the limit of unique formatting styles in Excel?

No, the limit of 4,000 unique formatting styles in Excel is fixed and cannot be increased. Therefore, it’s important to manage the styles and avoid unnecessary formatting to prevent the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error from occurring.

What if I can’t delete any more styles and the error persists?

If you have tried all solutions and the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ error still persists, you may need to split the workbook into multiple files or recreate the file with a more optimized design. It’s also recommended to backup your data regularly to avoid losing any important information.

Can I prevent the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel from occurring in the first place?

Yes, you can prevent the ‘Too Many Cell Formats’ Error in Excel by following some best practices, such as: avoiding merging cells, minimizing the use of conditional formatting, using the same formatting style for similar cells, and deleting unused styles regularly. By doing so, you can maintain a lean and efficient workbook that’s less prone to errors.