Every time you make an Excel spreadsheet this big, a kitten meets its maker

I’m not really that elitist about non-programmers using applications in an advanced way the programmers could find a better way to do. I’ve never had to port functionality from an Excel spreadsheet that was 2 MB in size prior to data being added–at least not more than once.

However, I am a bit disturbed that Excel is the new Access:

The total number of available columns in Excel
Old Limit: 256 (2^8)
New Limit: 16k (2^14)

The total number of available rows in Excel
Old Limit: 64k (2^16)
New Limit: 1M (2^20)

Number of unique colours allowed a single workbook
Old Limit: 56 (indexed colour)
New Limit: 4.3 billion (32-bit colour)

Therefore, Excel is now Microsoft’s new small business data warehouse. (Apologies to DW people.)

You could also store and represent a very large 32-bit color bitmap inside an Excel spreadsheet. Also supported are Base-64 Encoded BLOBs 🙂 :

The total number of characters that can display in a cell
Old Limit: 1k (when the text is formatted)
New Limit: 32k or as many as will fit in the cell (regardless of formatting)

The number of characters per cell that Excel can print
Old Limit: 1k
New Limit: 32k

I’d hate to have to debug a 8k character formula with 64 levels of nesting:

The maximum length of formulas (in characters)
Old Limit: 1k characters
New Limit: 8k characters

The number of levels of nesting that Excel allows in formulas
Old Limit: 7
New Limit: 64

A 255 argument function. The mind shudders. Even if you did not use a computer science major to create the program, such an unwieldly program might benefit from the education and experience of a computer science major. Maybe there is a better way to do this, by applying some mid-level software engineering techniques instead of stream of consciousness coding.

Maximum number of arguments to a function
Old Limit: 30
New Limit: 255


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