Excel question: file size

I just got off the phone with someone I know, and she had a question about an Excel file. When she tries to open the file Excel says the file is too large. There are approximately 73,000 records.

Why won’t Excel open the file? (Or not open all of the file – I’m unclear on that.) Is it a limitation of Excel? Her particular version of Excel? Memory on her PC?

If Excel won’t open the file, is there another way to open it with the contents in columns?

I gathered that the file was created in Excel. If it was created there, shouldn’t it be able to open it? If another program writes a file in Excel format, could it create a file too large for Excel to open?

There is most likely a limit of about 65,000 which was in effect until very recently when Office 2007 cam out. It is a common problem with the stuff I work with. There is no way around it except to break the data up into seperate sheets or columns.

To be clear, the one creating the file needs to break it up? There’s nothing my acquaintance can do?

Would it be possible to open the file if she had Office 2007? Does it have a limit to the number of records?

She probably doesn’t have an actual excel file. If she enables file extensions, she would probably see that it’s not a .XLS file but a .CSV file, or actually just comma separated text.

She can open it in a text editor, like WRITE or NOTEPAD, and trim off a large hunk of data and paste it into another file. Depending on the version of MS Office she has, she could also import the file into MS ACCESS and then dump it out to a couple seperate files via export.

Office 2007 would probably solve her problem, but it’s a bit expensive. Try to have her open it in notepad first. It will probably take a long time, but if it opens and it’s not garbage, it’s just a CSV file, and she can use cut and paste to get some of the data out so she can save it onto 2 separate worksheets or something.