Error message: To prevent possible loss of data, Microsoft Excel cannot shift nonblank cells off the worksheet

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Article ID: 305568 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q305568
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to insert rows or columns into a Microsoft Excel 2000 worksheet, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following:
To prevent possible loss of data, Microsoft Excel cannot shift nonblank cells off the worksheet.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if a formula has been added to the entire worksheet, or if formatting (such as a border) has been added to an entire column or row.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, clear each of the cells in the row or column, and then remove any formatting from the remaining rows and columns. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click the heading cell in the first blank column to the right of your data. (The heading cell is the first cell in each column, and indicates which column you are in).
  2. Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT, and then press the RIGHT ARROW key to select all of the columns to the right of the first column that you clicked.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  4. Click the first blank row below the last row in your data.
  5. Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT, and then press the DOWN ARROW key to select all of the rows below the first row that you clicked.
  6. On the Edit menu, click Delete.

    Note To remove any formatting from the remaining cells, continue to follow these steps.
  7. Click the small cell between the first row heading and the first column heading to select the entire worksheet.
  8. On the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Border tab.

    Note The formatting added to the remaining cells may vary. Step 8 assumes that you want to remove border formatting. To remove other types of formatting, you may need to change settings under another tab in the Format Cells dialog box.
  9. Click None, and then click OK.
  10. Click any cell in the row where you want to insert a row.
  11. On the Insert menu, click Row. To insert a column click Column.

Properties

Article ID: 305568 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 6.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb KB305568

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