Facing “Too many different cell formats” is a common problem for Excel users. Users are commonly facing this error while saving Excel workbook, and when this appears user is not allowed to save the file and leave you at the risk of losing all the work to the sheet or workbook. This is a very irritating issue, here in this article follow the complete information about Excel too many different cell formats error and how to fix it.


Symptoms of the Error:


In Microsoft Office excel, when you format a cell or range of cells, you will get the following error message:

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Too many different cell formats.

fix excel cell format error

In this case, you need to remove some formatting to avoid computing the workbook.

Well, in some cases the error appears like:

Excel found unreadable content in the file

Following scenarios are associated with styles:

  • After opening the file suddenly you see all the formatting that you have done is actually missing.
  • File size is increased after you copy or paste between workbooks.
  • When you try to paste text, you will get following error messages:

Microsoft Excel can’t paste data

In this scenario, none of the paste and Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut produce any result although the clipboard is not empty.

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Cause Behind Getting Too Many Different Cell Formats:


The main reason behind the occurrence of such error is when the workbook contains more than approximately 4,000 different combinations of cell format in Excel 2003 or 64,000 different combinations in Excel 2007 and later versions. A Combination is defined as a unique set of formatting elements that are applied to a cell. This combination contains all font formatting e.g.: typeface, font size, italic bold, underline, cell patterns, number formatting, alignment and cell protection. When the cell formatting limits exceed from its fixed limit then such error occurs.

Common causes of exceeding the cell formatting limits include the following:

  • If two or more cells share the same formatting, they use one formatting combination, if there is any difference in formatting between the cells, each cell uses a different combination.
  • Data pasted from other sources, such as the Internet
  • In Excel, style counts may increase when you copy between workbooks because custom styles are copied.
  • File corruption
  • Custom cell format is often imported with data from external sources. These custom styles multiply itself very quickly and cause errors or become corrupt.

Well, these are the common causes behind getting the error too many different cell format and to fix it follow the manual solutions given below. However, if you are not able to fix it with a manual solution then make use of the automatic MS Excel Repair tool to fix the error easily.

Too Many Different Cell Formats Fix


To fix this error, make use of the appropriate method for your situation.


Method 1:

To prevent built in styles to get duplicated at the time of copying a workbook, make sure that you are using the latest updates for Excel or your system is installed with the latest Excel update.


Method 2:

You can also read the following Knowledge Base articles which will guide you to prevent

Copying custom styles between workbooks in one instance of Excel when you move or copy a worksheet

Note: These article needs to install and add a registry key.

2553085 Unused styles are copied from one workbook to another workbook in Excel 2007

2598127 Unused styles are copied from one workbook to another in Excel 2010

Method 3

You need to simplify the formatting of your workbooks. To do so follow these mentioned guidelines to simplify formatting:

  • Use a standard font: Use the same font for all the cells, you can reduce the number of formatting combinations.
  • If you use the border in your worksheet, use them consistently.

Note: The borders between cells overlap, such as, if you apply a border to the right side of the cells, you don’t need to apply the border on the left side of the adjacent cell to the right.

If you are giving patterns to cells, remove the patterns. Don’t do this, open the format cells dialog box, click the patterns tab and then click No color.

  • Use styles to standardize the formatting throughout your whole workbook.

Note: after you simplify and standardize the formatting in the workbook, save, close and again reopen it before you apply additional cell formatting.


Alternate Solution: MS Excel Repair Tool


If none of the above given manual methods help you to fix the excel too many different cell formats error, then you can opt for the third party professional recommended MS Excel Repair Tool is a special tool which is specifically designed to repair such kind of files so that one can easily continue to work in that file. This repair tool searches for .xls file in the folder specified by the user. With this software, you can repair your corrupted Excel file. It can easily restore all corrupt excel file and also recover everything which includes cell comments, charts, worksheet properties and other related data. The corrupted excel file can be restored to a new blank Excel file.

Excel Repair for Windows


Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:





We have tried our best to provide the complete information about excel too many different cell formats error. You can make use of it and get rid of the error easily.

Good Luck!!!  

Resolve Excel “Too Many Different Cell Formats” Error Message
Resolve Excel Too Many Different Cell Formats Error Message
Article Name
Resolve Excel Too Many Different Cell Formats Error Message
Solution 1: Update your Excel file, Solution 2: Simply the formatting of the workbooks will help you to fix the annoying too Many Different Cell Formats error...
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Repair MS Excel
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