Excel Error "No more Custom Number Formats Can be added"

I have a user who created a new .xls file by copying another. She received the error  "No more Custom number formats can be added."

I couldn't find anything in the knowledge base about this.

I don't know a lot about the file - so ask specfics if needed and I'll find out what is needed.


I believe she is using Excel 97.
Who is Participating?
SorklinConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You have to delete some unused custom formats.  Excel 97 (and previous versions) get hit by this alot.  I'm not sure of the exact number, but its quite high.  Whats even more annoying, is that you have to delete them one at a time.  If anyone finds that this is not true, PLEASE post that answer here.  I've been looking for a long time for a better solution to this.

Common causes: cutting and pasting between spreadsheets will often bring in all the number formats with them, rapidly filling up the max number of user formats.

I've found that most of these formats are not used in the current file and just delete them manually.  Its a pain in the *ss.  

Hopefully someone will have a solution as opposed to a confirmation that this is a problem.  I'll be waiting to hear.
Technet Article: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q163/6/78.asp

Issue: Approximately 4k formats allowable maximum, as stated by Sorklin.

Resolution: Nothing direct, at least as far as M$ is concerned. Definition of a different cell format, as per M$:

A combination is defined as a unique set of formatting elements that are applied to a cell. A combination includes all font formatting (for example, typeface, font size, italic, bold, underline, and so on), borders (for example, location, weight, color, and so on), cell patterns, number formatting, alignment, and cell protection

Method to repair, if chosen to proceed, and god help you...

I once created the macro that would catalog *every* cell inside used ranges on every sheet that would fill in the information across all possible combination items. I would then track how many times it was in a *used* cell (not isnull() or <> "").

It never finished. :)

Recommended method to repair! :)

Make a cell the way you want everything to look on your page. Select said item. Select format painter. Paint entire spreadsheet with said item. Repeat until rinsed and cleaned.  You can also just select the entire used area on the target book (usually the culprit because it accepts a large number of items) and force the formatting.

Warning: Things *will* look different, but it should resolve your issue. If not... ummm.... sorry, hope you kept your backup. :)

cekmanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments - I'll have the user look at both and will let you know if this helps.

What is your plan with this question?  Still open today.

Community Support Moderator @ Experts Exchange
cekmanAuthor Commented:
The user never got back to me - sorry for dropping this question. Don't know whether it worked or not - but found out I best give a good grade.
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