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Author Topic: Bloated Excel?
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 13, 2012 09:05      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a head-scratcher for you.

My department has used a shared spreadsheet (Excel) to keep track of our headlines since March 2011. We have 53 columns with 65 rows in separate sheets for 2011, 2012, and 2013. We have used colors to help each writer easily identify her section of the worksheet. We have only entered text, no complicated formulas or graphs or anything.

The spreadsheet worked fine until last week, when it started taking a loooong time to open, save, and close. It gave errors of "locked for editing" even when only one person had it open.

I checked the properties today: 82.5MB. That seems rather bloated to me, but my estimation skills have never been fabulous. Would that large size account for the difficulty the spreadsheet has been having? Is there something hiding that might be causing the bloat (if it is a bloat), and how do I find it? Is there something you recommend to making the spreadsheet easier to access? Should we move the spreadsheet to Google Docs instead of keeping it on the server?

Any constructive input would be appreciated!

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted September 13, 2012 20:18      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try disabling macros and see if it the problem goes away. If it does, it's possible you have a macro virus.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 13, 2012 21:43      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What the grumpy one said.

Another possibility...

Microsoft Office's 'Track Changes' option.

Some years ago, after waiting about 3 minutes for a 10 page Word document to load, I checked the file size, and it was some hundreds of megabytes - far too big for a document of so few pages.

Turned out, the 'Track Changes' option was enabled, which means Word was saving a history of every change ever made, and jumping through Bob-knows how many hoops when loading/saving the file.

Simply turning off the option didn't fix the problem, it stopped tracking new changes, but still kept the old stuff.

Eventually, I figured out this sequence to fix the problem...
1. Select all
2. Copy
3. New File
4. Paste
5. Save as (new filename)

Et Voilà! - a new file with just the current stuff.

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Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 14, 2012 01:00      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD: I believe ~2007 and later also have some fancy way to strip that out, lest one accidentally leak embarrassing earlier drafts. (*cough* M$ did this, even!)

I think this can be found in the "Prepare" menu, under the 'faux File menu.'

R: I don't think such a large file would be terribly much fun to manipulate online...but I also think the file is probably too large, and might not be appropriate as a spreadsheet. A simple text file with simple notes before or after the headline would probably work just as well, and *ought* to be faster. Mind you, if your text editor stinks, this might not be true, but that's why one uses gVim. [Wink] I'm sure some people would advocate using Access instead, but I think the FSM would drown me in marinara for suggesting such an idea, and I'd consider is appropriate punishment. [Razz]

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Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 14, 2012 12:18      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I knew I could count on you!

Grumpy - is it sad that I don't even know what a macro is, let alone how to enable/disable one? That makes me think that a macro virus isn't the problem.

TFD - You probably have the right idea. It's good for us to track changes, because with at least five users working in the sheet at once, something gets screwed up on occasion. The "new file with just the current stuff" is not going to be fun. Sure, it wouldn't be a problem if it were just me, but because we have other, less-than-comfortable-computer-users accessing this, it's a rather clunky work-around. I think it's our only option, though.

dman - I only have 2003 on my computer, and we don't have Access, so we're doing the best we can. It would be nice to upgrade, but that's out of our control. I've seen a newer version of Excel on my boss's computer - it's very shiny!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged


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