Microsoft KB Archive/168650

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Article ID: 168650

Article Last Modified on 12/7/2004


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q168650

Important This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you attempt to add a new chart to a workbook or access the chart data source, you may receive the following error message:

Not enough memory.

If you are using a Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications macro to add chart sheets to a workbook, you may also receive the following error message:

Run-time error '1004':
Method 'Add' of object 'Sheets' failed


This problem may occur if you add more than 124 charts to a workbook when editing the workbook in Microsoft Excel 97 or Microsoft Excel 97 Service Release 1 (SR-1).

Note that the problem may occur when you add fewer than 124 charts, especially if you use multiple fonts in worksheets in your workbook or if you use embedded charts. Also, note that if the workbook contains charts that have been added in earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, the workbook may contain more than 124 charts.


To correct this problem when creating new charts, obtain Microsoft Excel 97 Service Release 2 (SR-2) and perform the following steps.

Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

To resolve the problem, you can add an entry to the registry that disables automatic font scaling for charts. To do this:

  1. Quit all running programs.
  2. Click the Start button, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Go to the following registry subkey (folder):

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel\Microsoft Excel

  5. Point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value. Type AutoChartFontScaling, and then press ENTER.
  6. Click Modify on the Edit menu. Type 0, in the Value Data box, and then click OK.
  7. Click Exit on the File menu to quit the Registry Editor.

The next time that you start Excel, you should be able to create more than 124 charts.

If you are unable to obtain Microsoft Excel 97 SR-2, you may be able to work around this limitation by using either of the following methods.

Method 1: Turn Off the Auto Scale Option for Fonts in Your Charts

  1. Select the chart area.
  2. On the Format menu, click Selected Chart Area.
  3. Select the Font tab.
  4. Click to clear the Auto scale check box.
  5. Click OK.

Method 2: Move Charts into Another Workbook

You may also be able to work around this limitation by moving some of the charts in your workbook into another workbook. Note that charts moved to another workbook remain linked to the data in the original workbook.

NOTE: If you remove embedded charts from a worksheet and add additional charts, the "Not enough memory" error message appears unless you first save, close, and then reopen the workbook. If you delete chart sheets or worksheets that contained embedded charts, you can then add new charts up to the limit without receiving the error message and without saving, closing, and then reopening the file.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Office 97 Service Release 2 (SR-2).

For additional information about SR-2, please click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q151261 OFF97: How to Obtain and Install MS Office 97 SR-2


In Microsoft Excel 97, there is a limit of 256 fonts that may be used by the program. When you create a chart, the chart uses two fonts if the Auto scale check box for that chart is selected (this is the default behavior in Microsoft Excel 97). For example, it is possible to exceed the limit of fonts by creating a workbook that contains the objects in the following table:

   Objects                      Fonts per Object   Total fonts used
   124 chart objects            2 fonts                   248 fonts
   1 worksheet                  1 font                      1 font
   used by Microsoft Excel      6 fonts                     6 fonts
                                                   Total  255 fonts

If you attempt to add another chart to the workbook, the total number of fonts used would be 257. Because this would exceed the limit of 256 fonts, you receive a "Not enough memory" error message.

Clearing the Auto scale check box for each chart may allow you to extend the maximum number of charts that can be added to the workbook.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kberrmsg kbbug kbchart KB168650