White Space

Q: The spreadsheets are rather large - with formulas in almost all the cells - but it's taking approx. 3 1/2 mins to save one spreadsheet in Excel as opposed to 30 secs in 1-2-3.
A: Could be one of several things.

The most likely is what we refer to as the "White Space Problem". This is due to a lot of extra empty cells being included in the "used" file area on conversion. It can also cause "Virtual Memory" or "Out of Memory" problems.

To see whether your problem is being caused by white space, open one of the workbooks then press the keys "End" + "Home"; this will take you to the last cell on the current sheet being used by Excel. If the cell is IV8192, or something very near to it, the chances are this is the problem you have.

Note: Make a copy of the workbook before you try the solution.

To solve the problem you have to find the last cell in which you have a value or formula, then highlight all the rows and columns beyond it and remove any formatting (Edit > Clear > Formats). Do this for each sheet in the book and then save it. This should solve the problem.


Originally published: 19-Jan-2004
Last modified 13-Mar-2011