8 Tricks To Fix Excel Too Many Different Cell Formats Error

Frequently encountering too many different cell formats error in Excel? But don’t have any idea on how to fix this?

Well, you can try quick fixes like clearing the cell’s formatting, adding one standard font style to all the cells, and removing filled colors in a cell, etc. to fix too many different cell formats errors.

Like this, there are many more fixes available to resolve too many different cell formats error. But to explore all this, you need to go through this post completely.

To recover lost Excel data, we recommend this tool:

This software will prevent Excel workbook data such as BI data, financial reports & other analytical information from corruption and data loss. With this software you can rebuild corrupt Excel files and restore every single visual representation & dataset to its original, intact state in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download Excel File Repair Tool rated Excellent by Softpedia, Softonic & CNET.
  2. Select the corrupt Excel file (XLS, XLSX) & click Repair to initiate the repair process.
  3. Preview the repaired files and click Save File to save the files at desired location.

What Causes Too Many Different Cell Formats Error In Excel?

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 different combinations in Excel 2007 and its later versions.

This Combination is known as a unique set of formatting elements that are 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 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 use a single formatting combination.
  • If there is any difference in formatting between the cells, every cell makes 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 operations 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 themselves very quickly and cause errors or become corrupt.

Well, these are the common causes behind getting the error too many different cell formats 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.

How To Fix Excel Too Many Different Cell Formats Error?

To fix this error, make use of the best-suited method for your case.

  1. Install Latest Excel Update
  2. Copy Custom Styles Between Workbooks
  3. Apply Simple Formatting In Workbook
  4. Repair Spreadsheet With Excel Repair Software
  5. Open Excel File With Alternative Options
  6. Clear all the spreadsheet’s cell formatting
  7. Apply Standard Font Style To Entire Cells
  8. Use Clean Excess Cell Formatting Option

1# Install Latest Excel Update

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.

2# Copy Custom Styles Between Workbooks

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: This article needs to add and install the 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

3# Apply Simple Formatting In Workbook

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 a border on the right sections of the cells. You don’t need to keep the border on the left portion of an 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 the entire of your workbook.

Note: after you simplify and standardize the formatting in the workbook, save, close,  and again reopen it right the application of cell formatting.

4# Repair Spreadsheet With Excel Repair Software

Too many cell format errors also pop up when you are trying to open a corrupted Excel file.

You can easily repair corrupted Excel spreadsheets with Excel Repair software.

If none of the above given manual methods help you to fix excel too many different cell formats errors, then you can opt for the third-party professional recommended MS Excel Repair Tool. It is the best tool that is purposely designed to fix any type of corruption that occurs in the excel file. This tool mainly targets fixing corrupted or damaged .xls files.

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.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:

previous arrow
next arrow

5# Open Excel File With Alternative Options

Another alternative that you can try is opening your Excel file using some alternative software.

By doing this, you will be able to open and apply formatting in your Excel spreadsheet without any issue.

Well, there is any software available using which you can open Excel file without Excel. Just check out the given post link, to know about those alternative options.

6# Clear All The Spreadsheet’s Cell Formatting

If this too many cell formats error arising due to previously applied formatting then you should clear all those formatting first and then re-apply it.

  • In your Excel spreadsheet, hit the Ctrl + A button from your keyboard to select entire cells.
  • Go to the Home tab first and then from the editing group choose the clear button.
  • After pressing the clear button, the list of submenu gets open. From which you have to choose Clear Formats option.

Clear All Formatting

  • Now you can apply new formatting to your spreadsheet data.

7# Apply Standard Font Style To Entire Cells

Clearing the whole formatting of the sheet is a slightly drastic thing to do. If you want to retain some Excel formatting then minimize the number of applied cell formatting by keeping only the unique one is the best option.

  • In your Excel spreadsheet, hit the Ctrl + A button from your keyboard to select entire cells.
  • After that go to the Home tab and then from the Font group choose the font style.

Apply Standard Font Style To Entire Cells

  • Hit the Fill Color icon, this will open the color palette.
  • Choose No Fill option for removing all the filled colors of your spreadsheet.

remove font style and color

  • Now all spreadsheet cells don’t have any fill color formatting and have the same font style.

8# Use Clean Excess Cell Formatting Option

Another option that you can try to fix too many cell formats error in excel is by using the option of cleaning Excess Cell Formatting.

This option is available on the Inquire tab of Office Professional Plus 2013 and Microsoft Office 365.

 If you are unable to find this option in your excel version then follow these steps to enable the Inquire add-in.

  • Hit the File tab and then from the drop-down menu list choose the Options. This will open Excel Options window.

disable add in in excel 1

  • Tap the Add-ins tab which is present on the left panel of the Excel Options window.

excel add-ins

  • Hit the arrow sign present across the Manage button and then from the drop-down choose COM Add-ins. Now press the go button.

Inspect issues with Add-ins 2

  • From the opened COM Add-Ins window choose Inquire add-in, and then tap the OK button.
  • You will see that Inquire tab is now starting to appear on your screen.
  • Tap to the Clean Excess Cell Formatting button present on the Inquire tab.

Use Clean Excess Cell Formatting Option 1

  • Choose to clean the entire worksheet of the spreadsheet. Thereafter tap to the Yes option for saving up entire spreadsheet changes.

Remember: Even a blank cell of the spreadsheet also contains formatting. So here are some easy tricks to clean data in Excel spreadsheet.

Other Problems Associated With This Too Many Different Cell Formats 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.

Too many different cell formats

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

Well, in some cases the error appears like this:

Excel found unreadable content in the file

Excel found unreadable content

Following scenarios are associated with styles:

  • After opening the file suddenly you see all the formatting that you have done is actually missing.
  • The 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

Microsoft Excel cant paste data

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


We have tried our best to provide 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!!!  

Priyanka is a content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.