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I've got a (relatively) big Excel file, coming in at around 11.5 MB.

This is a file I inherited and improved upon, adding many tabs, conditional formatting and raw data.

When I got it, the file was around 400 KB. This was about a year and a half ago.

I've got versions of that file going back all the way (every time I made a significant change I saved an older version in a folder), and I figured out the file increased in about 6 MB during February of last year.

I'm looking at both files, and can't seem to see what is it that made the difference. No new tabs were added, not a significant amount of data, nothing.

Is there a way to figure out how much storage space each tab in both excel files takes up so I can locate the mysterious increase in size?

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  • I'm not aware of a tool doing that. Just start deleting sheets and saving, check the site after each save. After finding the sheet(s) being too big: delete empty rows and columns. Look for objects, hidden rows/columns... If you still can't solve it, just update the question with new information. May 20 '17 at 14:51
  • How many tabs are you working with? (a rough estimate is fine)
    – Joseph
    May 20 '17 at 15:07
  • 17 tabs. give ir take 5 per workbook
    – Tom Granot
    May 20 '17 at 15:10
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A couple of things can make it bigger or with bad performance.

  1. A lot of formatting, you can solve it by cleaning Styles;
  2. Unused Named Ranges, you can solve it by deleting broken Named Ranges;
  3. A lot of Conditional Formatting, this happens when you copy and paste cells with Conditional Formatting duplicating them, you should go back and fix them to use as less as possible;
  4. External file links, you can fix this by Breaking Links;
  5. File format, if you really need, save the file as Microsoft Excel Binary File (.xlsb), it can reduce your file up to 70%.
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  • formatting was the main problem as it turns out.
    – Tom Granot
    May 22 '17 at 19:12

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