Microsoft KB Archive/48179

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Excel Err Msg: "Can't Add More Formats" or "Too Many Formats"

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 4.0, 5.0, 5.0c
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 4.0, 5.0, 5.0a


In Microsoft Excel, when you attempt to add a custom number format, you may receive the following error message:

Cannot add any more custom formats


In Microsoft Excel, there is a limit to the number of custom number formats that you can create. The following table lists these limits.

   For this version         Approximate number
   of Microsoft Excel       of custom number formats

   5.0, 5.0a, 5.0c             Limited by available memory
   4.0                         214
   3.x                         233
   2.x and earlier              43 


To work around this situation, do the following to remove some custom number formats:

  1. On the Format menu, click Cells.
  2. Click the Number tab, and select the Custom category.
  3. Select the custom format you want to delete, and then click Delete.

NOTE: You cannot delete the built-in number formats in Microsoft Excel.


For more information about the number of custom number formats you can use in Microsoft Excel, click Contents on the Help menu, and then click Reference Information. Click Microsoft Excel Specifications, and then click Worksheet and Workbook specifications, and scroll to the Formatting section.

Additional query words: 1.00 1.03 1.04 1.06 1.50 2.20 3.00 1.00 1.03 1.04 1.06 1.50 2.20 3.00 4.00a 5.00a 5.00c Can't Add Any More Formats Too Many

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Last Reviewed: March 15, 1999
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