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So my wife's working on a spreadsheet in excel 2007 that her department at work totally worked over.

Someone selected all cells and formatted background and borders. All millions of cells. File is now 35mb and only has 900 rows of text.

On top of that it was a shared workbook so that's right, change tracking enabled.

I pulled the formatting off and turned off sharing but trying to delete even one of the empty rows gives out of memory errors. Copying any data, a row or even a cell fails with out of memory errors.

My only thought at this point is possibly downloading the trial of 64 bit excel and hope the extra memory room will let me delete the rows.

Any thoughts?

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You shouldnt need another license for a x64 version. – Mythrillic Jun 15 '12 at 5:25
Is there a backup of the file taken before the first formatting change? – shufler Jun 15 '12 at 5:28
Have you tried VBA? – soandos Jun 15 '12 at 5:30
There is not a backup and I have not tried VBA yet. Given I can't delete any rows via the interface I'm not hopeful that I can via VBA. – Jesse Jun 15 '12 at 5:41
Can you try the other route of copying the 900 rows to a new workbook? – datatoo Jun 15 '12 at 14:09
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I ended up doing the following:

  1. Rename file to .zip since excel files are a zip container
  2. Extract the xlm file for the sheet I needed
  3. Deleted the extra rows in a text editor (search online for one that can handle large files)
  4. Re-zip and rename file

Took a couple of tries to get it right but it worked in the end.

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