Is the cell character limit (32,767) in Excel hard coded or can it be modified to allow more than 32,767 characters? I have not found any source which suggests it can be modified, but I have found nothing which explicitly says it is hard coded and CANNOT be modified.


You can't expand the total character count. From Microsoft:

Total number of characters that a cell can contain: 32,767 characters

That being said, here are a few related questions on SO:

  • Thanks @BruceWayne. I guess we are stuck with what we got!
    – user948434
    Oct 16 '18 at 17:59
  • 1
    @n8- Yeah. Admittedly, I couldn't find explicitly "There is no way to expand the character count in a cell, at all, period, so quit asking". However, researching this question, and with the above links, I'd be willing to say that if you were able to expand that character limit, it would be a massive technical undertaking, and your time would likely be better spent re-thinking your data, or how to use it/break it down a little.
    – BruceWayne
    Oct 16 '18 at 18:01
  • @n8- If my answer, or harrymc's, did the trick for you, do you mind flagging that answer as The Answer by clicking the check mark left of the post? This will also remove it from the Unanswered queue. Thanks!
    – BruceWayne
    Oct 19 '18 at 16:37
  • I did, but my rep is too low to change the score.
    – user948434
    Oct 22 '18 at 12:18

You are probably reading long data from some source into Excel, which has this hard built-in limitation of 32,767, which applies to both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

This isn't the best usage of Excel, since it is not made to be used as database. This is rather the function of Access or other databases. Longer data than the maximum should continue to be kept in external storage, outside of Excel.

There are some unsatisfactory workarounds :

You could, for instance, insert the lengthy text selections into text boxes rather than into cells. The text boxes don't have the same limit, and you can format the contents in any way desired, but using them this way is quite awkward.

Another approach is to actually add the long information to a Word document, copy it, and then paste it into Excel (using Paste Special) as a Word object, but again, using them this way is quite awkward.

To conclude, there are workarounds, but they are pretty hard to use.