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

Discussion in 'Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions' started by columns and rows, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. in excel. why are there 256 columns and 65,536 rows?
     
    columns and rows, Nov 8, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. 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?
     
    Barb Reinhardt, Nov 8, 2008
    #2
  3. columns and rows

    F1 Guest

    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?
     
    F1, Nov 8, 2008
    #3
  4. columns and rows

    Sheeloo Guest

    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/oddity/the_256_column_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?
     
    Sheeloo, Nov 8, 2008
    #4
  5. 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?
     
    ShaneDevenshire, Nov 8, 2008
    #5
  6. columns and rows

    Harlan Grove Guest

    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.
     
    Harlan Grove, Nov 9, 2008
    #6

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Guest

    In Excell sheet i want to insert more than 65,536 rows how i can .

    Guest, Apr 6, 2005, in forum: Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    163
    Guest
    Apr 6, 2005
  2. Guest

    How can i convert the rows into columns and columns into rows?

    Guest, Aug 7, 2005, in forum: Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    290
    R.VENKATARAMAN
    Aug 7, 2005
  3. Guest

    I NEED TO IMPORT MORE THAN THE 65,536 LINES EXCEL ALLOWS

    Guest, Feb 1, 2006, in forum: Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    256
  4. Guest

    How can I add additional rows beyond the 65,536 in excel 2003

    Guest, Apr 17, 2006, in forum: Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    505
    agarwaldvk
    Apr 18, 2006
  5. Guest

    Rows and columns in 2007 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns

    Guest, Aug 22, 2006, in forum: Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    235
    Guest
    Sep 26, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page