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Only 1,024 characters are displayed in a cell in Excel

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This article was previously published under Q211580
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Excel 2001 Mac Editiona and Excel 98 Macintosh Edition version of this article, see 180278.
If a cell contains more than 1,024 characters, or if it contains a formula that returns a result of more than 1,024 characters, only approximately the first 1,024 characters are displayed in the cell.
In the versions of Microsoft Excel listed at the beginning of this article, a cell can contain up to 32,767 characters. However,if a cell contains more than 1,024 characters, the following rules apply:

  • Characters after approximately the 1,024th character do not appear in the cell; however, they appear in the formula bar when you edit or select the cell.
  • Although characters after approximately the 1,024th character do not appear, you can detect and manipulate them with worksheet functions (for example, the RIGHT and MID functions) and macro commands (for example the Characters property).
  • If you copy a cell that contains more than 1,024 characters, and then paste them in another cell, all of the characters are pasted into the new cell. However, characters after approximately the 1,024th character do not appear in the destination cell.
  • Characters in a cell after approximately the 1,024th character are not printed and may not appear in print preview.
Note You may be able to see more than 1,024 characters by increasing the row height and column width of the worksheet, or by modifying the display settings of the system.


To observe this behavior, follow these steps:
  1. In cell A1 of a new worksheet, type the following formula:
  2. With cell A1 selected, click Cells on the Format menu.
  3. Click the Alignment tab. Click to select the Wrap text check box, and click OK.
  4. On the Format menu, point to Column, and click AutoFit Selection.

    Note that all you can see in cell A1 are "w" characters; the "xyz" characters at the end of the cell are not displayed.
  5. Type the following formulas in cell A2 and A3:
    A2: =RIGHT(A1,3)
    A3: =LEN(A1)
    The formula in cell A2 returns the result "xyz", the three rightmost characters in the cell. Cell A3 contains the number 1027, the number of characters present in cell A1.
  6. Change the formula in cell A1 to:
You can see 1,023 "w" characters, followed by an "x" character. The "yz"characters are after the 1,024-character limit, so they are not displayed.The formula in cell A3 now displays 1026, the length of cell A1.
1023 1025 1024 XL2000 cells xl2002 XL2003

Article ID: 211580 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 11:42:39 - Revision: 6.2

Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

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