Cell shows with ########



In Excel 2007, I've opened a file I created in Excel 2003.

It looked fine in Excel 2003. But now, in Excel 2007, one cell now appears
as #############, onscreen and in Print Preview and when printed. The cell
contents look fine in the the entry line at the top of the screen, or when I
put the cursor in the cell and hit F2 (edit). The cell contains multiple
lines of text. I've tried it both with Wordwrap and without, but the cell
still appears as ################.

Any suggestions on how to get hese cells to display normally again?


Dave Peterson

I would have guessed that the problem also appears in xl2003 (you may want to
check again).

But try formatting the cell as General (or anything but Text).

Excel has trouble strings between 256 and 1024 characters in cells formatted as

Jim Thomlinson

I assume that this is Text. If the cell is formatted as text and the length
of the text is between 256 and 1024 characters in length then it will display
as ###. Longer or shorter is fine. Just a weird little anomoly of text.

To get around this reformat the cell as general as it has no such (weird)


Thanks. I changed the format to General and it works fine.

You're right - that's weird. Is that a bug or a feature...? And if it's a
feature, what possible design justification could it have?


It looks fine after changing to General format.

I believe it was OK in Excel 2003, but I no longer have access to Excel 2003
to see.


Jim Thomlinson

Just a weird little bug. Since XL is not a text editor / word processor it
is generally harmless.

The only people I know of using XL to write long winded discussions are
accountants and they should be taken out behind the wood shed... IMO ;-)


your print width for that column is less than the size of the data. reformat
the data to fit (ie. reduce decimal places) or increase the column width

Gord Dibben

Same bug/feature existed in earlier versions when char count was 255 to 1024
and Text formatted.

Gord Dibben MS Excel MVP

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