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why is there 256 columns and 65,536 rows in excel

 
 
columns and rows
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      8th Nov 2008
in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?
 
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Barb Reinhardt
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      8th Nov 2008
Because someone decided to do it that way? Ok, I don't know the real
reason. If you want more rows and columns, upgrade to 2007.
--
HTH,
Barb Reinhardt

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"columns and rows" wrote:

> in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?

 
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F1
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      8th Nov 2008
He could mean why so many, anyways same answer as before( except for the 2007
upgrade).

"Barb Reinhardt" wrote:

> Because someone decided to do it that way? Ok, I don't know the real
> reason. If you want more rows and columns, upgrade to 2007.
> --
> HTH,
> Barb Reinhardt
>
> If this post was helpful to you, please click YES below.
>
>
>
> "columns and rows" wrote:
>
> > in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?

 
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Sheeloo
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      8th Nov 2008
I believe it was designed keeping in view the system limitations at the time
Excel was developed. It was probably not changed in later versions as it
probably required a major rewrite which MS finally took up for Excel 2007.
unfortunately most users did NOT like the new Excel despite many attractive
new features - people hate the RIBBON interface...

Following is copied from
http://spreadsheetpage.com/index.php...mn_limitation/
____________________
Every Excel worksheet is limited to 256 columns. Despite what must amount to
thousands of requests over the years, Microsoft refuses to increase the
number of columns in a worksheet. Beginners often discover this limitation
when they want to set up a spreadsheet that contains data for each day in a
year. If they store the data horizontally, they run out of column in
mid-September.

So we're stuck with 256. Why such a weird number? Why not 250? Or 365? The
number of rows and columns is a by-product of the binary number system. 256
is 2, raised to the eight power (2^8), which is the maximum value that can be
stored using eight bits. The number of rows in a worksheet is 65,536, which
is 2^16. Older versions of excel contained only 16,384 rows, which is 2^14
power.

The reason for the 256-column limitation is probably due to the fact that
Excel is so old, and it contains lots of code that would be broken if the
number of columns were increased.

Update: The 256-column limitation was lifted in Excel 2007. In addition,
that version has 1,048,576 rows in a worksheet.
____________________

"columns and rows" wrote:

> in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?

 
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ShaneDevenshire
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      9th Nov 2008
Hi,

Its all about how computer work, they "think" in binary so
256 = 2^8 or 2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2
65,536 = 2^16

Notice that 8 has been increased to 16 all factors of 2.

In 2007 we have
16384 columns = 2^14
1,048,576 rows = 2^20

Now there is the other question of why, meaning why did Microsoft decide on
2^16 rows rather than 2^15 or some such. One factor was that initially
Microsoft was trying to go Lotus 1-2-3 one better. Later it was because
there seemed to be a need for larger spreadsheets. But in the background the
binary system also puts constraints on their choices.

--
Thanks,
Shane Devenshire


"columns and rows" wrote:

> in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?

 
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Harlan Grove
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      9th Nov 2008
Sheeloo <="to" & CHAR(95) & "sheeloo" & CHAR(64) & "hotmail.com">
wrote...
>I believe it was designed keeping in view the system limitations at the time
>Excel was developed. It was probably not changed in later versions as it
>probably required a major rewrite which MS finally took up for Excel 2007.

....

Not necessarily. Excel started of by copying a great deal of what
Lotus 123 did, which included 256 columns, but Excel provided twice as
many rows (16384) as 123 Release 2 (8192). FWIW, there were a few
spreadsheets back in Windows 3.1 days that provided more than 256
columns. The size of the worksheet grid was essentially arbitrary.
 
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