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ex2003: "The picture is too large and will be truncated" error

Marc Kupper
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      13th Oct 2006
>From time to time Excel will get into a mode where when I do a cut or
copy it pops up a box titled "Microsoft Excel" that says "The
picture is too large and will be truncated."

For example, right now if I start up Excel it defaults to a blank
worksheet for "Book1." I click on the "A" column to select it, CTRL-C
to copy, and the error box pops up. I click [Ok] and it pops up a
second time.

Again on this blank brand new sheet if I select cells A1 to A74 (one
column, 74 cells), I can do the CRTL-C (or Edit / Copy) and there's no
pop-up. If I changed the selection to end at A75 (75 cells) I get the

In the horizontal direction I get the same issue if I have 19 or more
cells selected. Thus I can select an 18 column by 74 row region
without a pop-up but as soon as I have more than 18 columns or 74 rows
I get the pop-up.

Copy/pasting on the test sheet seems to work regardless of the error
but I don't want to chance that on my real data.

I'm aware of http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=318265 but I'm not
trying to copy as a picture. As a test I held the shift key down,
clicked on "Edit" and see that I'm offered "Copy Picture..."
rather than the usual "Copy Ctrl-C" and further with the shift key
down and selecting "Copy Picture..." Excel pops up a Copy Picture
dialog box and in fact seems happy with creating a 1000 row by 26
column "Picture" though on pasting it turned out I got a 72 row by
19 column image. I really don't care that the picture did not have
all of my data as I've never used that option.

This happens a couple of times a year to me. In the past I had been
able to fix it by shutting down Excel and restarting it but this time
Excel seems determined to stay in this mode and even a reboot did not


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Marc Kupper
Posts: n/a
      13th Oct 2006
Marc Kupper wrote:
> >From time to time Excel will get into a mode where when I do a cut or

> copy it pops up a box titled "Microsoft Excel" that says "The
> picture is too large and will be truncated."

As a follow-up on this - the problem went away. The only thing I can
think of that may have been a "fix" is that towards the end of testing
I tried to copy/paste a huge spreadsheet. Excel locked up CPU bound and
rather than wait it out to see if it would recover I end-tasked the
thing and moved on to other tasks. I came back to the office, fired up
one of my standard Excel workbooks to do something and decided to see
if select-column-copy would work. It did and so I brought up the other
book where I had wanted to move an entire column, and was able to move
it without a complaint from Excel.

All I can guess is that there's an uninitialized variable bug somewhere
in Excel and from time to time the bits will line up in such a way that
I get the error.


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