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 make any cell formatting or set cells range, you will get the following error message:

Too many different cell formats.

fix excel cell format error

In this case, you need to clear some of the formatting to avoid computing of 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 paste a text, you will encounter the 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 excel  workbook contains approximately 4,000  or higher combinations cell format in Excel 2003. Or 64,000 of different combinations in Excel 2007 and it’s later versions. This Combination is known as a unique set of formatting elements which is applicable to all your cell in Excel. 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:

  • When two or more cells are having the formatting pattern then they uses a single formatting combination.
  • If there is any difference in formatting between the cells, every cell make use of a different combination.
  • Data pasted from other sources, such as the Internet
  • In Excel, counts of style may increase each time when you perform copy operation in different of your workbooks. This issue arises due to the copied custom styles.
  • 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 best suited method for your case.


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 patches of Excel updates 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 place of excel sheet while moving or copying a worksheet.

Note: These article needs to add and  install 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 minimize the  formatting combinations.
  • If you use the border in your worksheet, use them consistently.

Note: The borders between cells overlap, such as, if you put border on the right sections of the cells. You don’t need to keep border on left portion of adjacent cell .

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

  • Use styles to give elegant look to your formatting in complete of your workbook.

Note: after you simplify and standardize the formatting in the workbook, save, close and again reopen it right right the application of 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. It is the best tool which is purposely designed to fix any type of corruption is occurred in the excel file. This tool mainly targets to fix corrupted or damaged .xls file.

So, by using this software, you can easily troubleshoot your corrupted Excel file issue and also restore all your worksheet data safely. This 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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