I have created a template in MS Excel 2003. In MS Excel 2007, when I save it in MS Excel 1997 - 2003 format, it gives a compatibility warning;

Significant loss of functionality

This workbook contains data in cells outside of the row and column limit of the selected file format. Data beyond 256 (IV) columns by 65,536 rows will not be saved. Formula references to data in this region will return a #REF! error.

I can't figure out why Excel 2007 is showing this error while I have not used more than 50 rows and 14 (N) columns. I have googled it and found many solutions (actually suggestions) but no solution helped me solve this. Anybody here, who knows the solution or at least lead me in the right direction.

  • Are you sure there's no data outside the limits? Have you tried copying only the data from your 50*14 section, pasting into a new document and then saving that? – Karan Mar 25 '13 at 9:33
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    what cell do you get taken to when you hit Ctrl-End? – mcalex Mar 25 '13 at 9:58
  • @Karan: I am sure that there is no data outside those 50 rows and 14 columns. Let me try pasting the contents to a new sheet. – Mudassir Mar 25 '13 at 10:08
  • @mcalex: In Excel 2003, I am seeing the 65536 as the last row. – Mudassir Mar 25 '13 at 10:08
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    Thank you guys for your time. I solved it, please see the answer below. @mcalex: I pressed 'Ctrl + Down Arrow', (instead of 'Ctrl + End', as suggested by you) that is why it is taking me to the last (65536th) row. My sheet actually has only 50 rows. – Mudassir Mar 26 '13 at 8:51

I solved it. I removed data validation criteria from a range of cells, Excel 2007 is pointing to (regarding out of range) and then saved it in 97 - 2003 format in Excel 2007, it got saved successfully without any warning or error.

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    No, the criteria was applied to only ten cells from E18:G27 (F & G columns are merged from row 18 to 27). – Mudassir Mar 28 '13 at 3:16

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