7. The Big Grid and File Formats

Word leaked out in 2004 that Microsoft would be increasing the number of rows in the next version of Excel. Although no one new exactly how many rows, one thing was certain—the Excel file format would have to change. The old XLS file format was designed around cell addressing that would fit in a 216 address space, hence the limit of 65,536 rows.

Excel Grid Limits

The new grid in Excel offers 1,048,576 rows—that is, 220 rows—a sixteen-fold increase from 65,536 rows in Excel 2003. It offers 16,384 columns—that is, 214 columns—an increase from 256 columns in Excel 2003. Overall, the new grid provides for 17.1 billion cells on each worksheet.

You can now analyze more complex data sets. For example, if you regularly ...

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