Excel - Specifications and limitations of Sheets

June 2017



This tips aims to provide some information on the rationale of values ??(specifications and limits) apparently arbitrary under Excel:
  • Why is there a limitation of 256 displayable characters in a cell and not 250 or 300?
  • Why 16,384 columns in Excel 2007, and not 16,000 or 17,000?

Situation


"I'm faced with a limitation of 65,536 rows under Excel, but I do not understand the reasons for this limitation.. Could someone explain the logic behind?

Explanations


A byte consists of 8 bits (binary digit: 0 or 1) and can be represented as 2 ^ 8 = 256 different values. Hence the restriction
  • 256 ASCII codes
  • 256 displayable characters in an Excel cell,
  • 256 columns in Excel 2003, etc..


Other limitations:
  • With 2 bytes, or 16 bits, you can define 2 ^ 16 = 65536 values, number of rows in Excel 2003.
  • With 14 bits, you can define 2 ^ 14 = 16384 values. This is the number of columns in Excel 2007.
  • With 20 bits, you can define 2 ^ 20 = 1048576 values. This is the number of rows in Excel 2007.


In the Excel 2007 Help Topics go to the "Specifications and limits for spreadsheets and workbooks" chapter:
You shall notice that that most of these limitations are based on power of 2:
  • 2 ^ 4 = 16 layers and line styles
  • 2 ^ 5 = 32 styles, fields in a form
  • 2 ^ 9 = 512 fonts for workbook
  • 2 ^ 10 = 1024 page breaks
  • 2 ^ 15 = 32767 characters stored in a cell.


It should be noted that Excel 2010 specifications are the same as the ones used for Excel 2007.

Related


Published by jad05. Latest update on September 5, 2012 at 09:09 AM by jad05.
This document, titled "Excel - Specifications and limitations of Sheets," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).