Sharing useful utilities

After I wrote some utilities for my friends, co-workers and family they encouraged me to share them more broadly. Here are two most popular:
1. ImageShrinker will resize all image files in the selected folder into a new subfolder ..\Small for e-mail sharing or embedding into PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, etc… If you embed a lot of pictures this app will help you keep your Office files sizes under control. About 10+ times reduction in the raw picture file size w/o loss of quality.
2. XLStylesTool WinForms application (or new in browser Silverlight version of XLStylesTool) is my answer to the annoying “Too many formats” or “Microsoft Excel can’t paste data” messages that come up in Excel and sometimes destroy hours of work.  ReadMe file is enclosed. Designed to work with OpenXML file formats (i.e., XL2007 and higher). Read next blog post for technical details around OS/.Net runtime requirements necessary to run the app, if you want to know what causes the error messages, how people use XLStylesTool and how the various app settings can stabilize your file. Update for Office 2003 users: see Christian’s comment below.


Add a comment please if you used the utilities.


UPDATE [2/3/11]: just added more related utilities. See my new post.

UPDATE [3/21/11]: added .Net4.0 version of XLStylesTool.

UPDATE [4/28/11]: added in browser Silverlight version of XLStylesTool.

UPDATE [10/01/12]: added Windows 8 version: XLStylesTool in the Windows App Store.

UPDATE [10/10/19]: Windows 10 UWP and .Net Core 3.0 self-contained versions published in the App Store

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155 Responses to Sharing useful utilities

  1. Robert says:

    You are not simply quite a gifted individual but very generous of spirit – XLStyles Tool is an excellent utiility that does exactly what is needed, very quickly, very efficiently. Thank you for the effort in writing it and making it available to users who are \’just trying to get through the day\’ and have no concept of what is going on beneath their mice.

    • ggiaever says:

      I agree, not a blogger in general, but this tool saved my life, being a heavy excel user and programming illiterate. one question: once a file is clean, how does one avoid creating the issue in the first place?

      i have seen the hotfix — but it wasn’t clear to me whether this was applicable to excel 2010 as an add-in? many thanks

      • XLGeek says:

        The fix is not an add-in or some sort of a proactive style remover in Excel. It is a patch that changes how the copy/paste works in Excel 2007 and later. The fix should significantly reduce the amount of duplicated styles in the workbook. If you keep your workbooks clean and avoid cross two or more Excel instances frequent copy/pasting you should not have any problems.

      • ggiaever says:

        Thank you for your reply. On the many run arounds it took to find the xstyles tool to begin with, now i can’t find the hotfix tool to download the patch for the proactive style remover. Why aren’t they posted on some goto microsoft site (or is there one?) rather than having to spend hours finding this info and then having to assess whether another download is legit? maybe this site is a goto site? in any case, if you could point me to the link that’d be great, i remember trying to access it through some ‘free’ site that i had to sign up for only to not be able to find the patch without paying. thanks in advance for any info.

      • XLGeek says:

        Patches and Quick fixes are always free. Here is one link: I have blog posts that cover other related patches and detailed steps on the sequence in which they need to be applied. Please read further. You should see significant drop in styles related file corrution after installing the patches and running the tool. Your collegues have to do the same though for the issue to get under control.

    • Sophie says:

      Absolutely agree. Thank you very much to the poster – this really helped me out.

  2. Unknown says:

    This is quite a major problem especially in a working environment,and everyone else is not helping,just linking to the MS help file, which obviously not helping at all. You share a program that fix exactly what we all face. Thank you so much. God bless.

  3. M says:

    the best way to prove ppl that the world wide web helps ppl in more way is your example.i had 100 worksheets in XLSX and unable to convert it to XLS giving me some crap error. your tool was my life saver and it helped me to do it like a smart baby…thanks a lots and love to know more of these kinds of magics….Thanks again for sharing it.

  4. Mark says:

    Perhaps I am dense. I don\’t see how to use or install you fine utility. I downloaded the XLSylesTool.exe file and attempted to run it but it seems that nothing happens. Please enlighten me. Thank you.

  5. Chris Cole says:

    Dude, Dude, Dude……………….You are the dude! You have no idea of what trouble this problem has caused me. I wrote a document in 2007 and it kept growing and growing but some of my customers did not have 2007 and converting it was a problem that got worse and worse until I had no way of dealing with it until now. No more staying up until the small hours. I can’t thank you enough. Salaams bro!

  6. ake says:

    After a long search for the answer. Your is the real solution.
    It is really work.

  7. hayley says:

    you are a Genius!

    this had been driving me crazy for months now.
    thank you so much for sharing, its very much appreciated!

  8. Eve says:

    the two applications are awesome… thanks for this 🙂 you rock man 😀

    Hope we can receive more of this 😀

  9. Rob says:

    Fixed my problem in Excel 2010 too and also an issue where it would not paste but not say why. Was driving me nuts. Thanks!!!

  10. Maggie says:

    OMG – it works now! I’ve been struggling with this issues for some times now and very frastruated since I need to proceed some data.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Sameer says:

    You are the man!!!!!! very nicely done.people like you do their work and provide solutions. Hats off to you wherever you are and if you read this then thanks, thanks and more thanks!!!!!!!!

    People who come after me, this thing works. Pay respect to the utility.
    Oh and by the way my excel file was 112 MB size. Worked like a charm.

  12. Trotterpig says:

    You Magic Man! My file has reduced from 2.90MB to 1.76MB and all tiresome references to macros have disappeased, even though my file had none, and I had instructed ‘remove all macros’. Can’t wait to load heaps of new formatting to see if the wretched ‘too many formats’ warning appears. Bliss.

  13. Lisa P says:

    Thanks – you may have stopped me from going crazy! So far, the cleaner looks like it’s working. I often copy between multiple spreadsheets and this is the first thing I’ve found that let me correct the “Too many formats” error.

  14. gpen says:

    Thanks soo much….I literally went cross eyed tyring to correct that stupid error. Love it!

  15. Chris (London) says:

    This saved my day too, a rare find these days. something which identifies the problem, is easy to use & corrects the exact problem! Thanks!

  16. Mex says:

    You are a true genious and you made me look genious at work by finding your work!! Thank you so much for helping me and many others. God bless!

  17. Nikolay says:

    Genius, this solved the issue! You’re amazing!!!!!! Can you just tell me what the license for it is, could I use it in a business environment? Thanks.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Nikolay, short answer: use all utilities that I publish here in this blog anywhere you want and on as many PCs as you want, but please don’t try to make money off of them, reverse engineer the algorithms or claim ownership. Disincentive to do so: the primary cleansing algorithm is in the process of being protected by patents to make sure no one profits (which at this moment in time I consider unethical for this type of work) from this situation with styles and named ranges. If you want a longer answer please reply to this post with follow up info (I won’t approve it, so no one will see it) and I will reach out to you directly. Thank you for great and encouraging feedback.

  18. Christian says:

    Thank you so much, this is an excellent tool.

    I found that you CAN use it for Excel 2003 files!

    Import first into 2007 and save as a “.xlsm” file. Run the tool, and then convert back afterwards. It works fine, but saving the file as a 2007 “.xlsm” did for some reason screw up my button macros (which I pass various arguments to). I had to write a tool to remove the mangling, but it was worth it.

  19. Kumar says:

    Dude, you are awesome. The XL Cleaner worked perfectly to remove over 8000 cell formats and leave only the 5 needed ones.

  20. bob says:

    Thank you very much. This was an awesome utility and has saved me hours.

  21. Andre says:

    the XLcleaner tool is amazing! Thank you for sharing. youre a lifesaver.

  22. Andrew says:

    Sorry, can you please tell me how to use the file?

  23. HP says:

    Thank you very much, users at the company I support did not like the upgrade to Office 2007 from 2003 and on top of that constant issues with Excel. Your tool has helped alot to clean up these workbooks. I have couple of questions though,
    1. Is this new feature of Excel 2007 to keep unused styles when you are copy and pasting from another workbooks or was it around in Excel 2003. Some users have been using the same Excel workbooks for many years and never had the issue till 2007 upgrade?
    2. Does Word 2007 has same issue as well with keeping unused styles and how can I clean up a word document?

    Thanks Again for this.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi HP,
      1. In Office 2007 the “Too many cell formats” issue is related to the excessive number of unused often corrupted styles and not so much cell unique cell format combos like it was in Office 2003. MS KB article that comes up in all searches for the too many formats error message sums it up the best for 2003. In Excel 2007 the number of custom styles starts growing when users copy/paste across multiple Excel instances (i.e., not from workbook 1 into workbook 2 that are open inside the same single Excel instance; this won’t cause custom styles explosion problem). In 2007 the number of custom styles grows exponentially on each cross instance copy/paste. Excel 2003 has lower boundary for unique cell format combinations count (about 4000) than Excel 2007 (65,534). Custom styles are part of this limit in both versions, but Excel 2003 doesn’t duplicate them on cross instance copy/paste, so workbooks were more stable even with much lower 4000 unique cell format limit.
      2. I am not familiar and never heard of any Word styles related issues. If you give me more details I may be able to dig into it and tell you what I find. Word also uses OpenXML file format, so it is possible to see what is stored inside the file. Internally Word and Excel file format definitions seem to be completely different. Their customs styles definitions are not really comparable.

      Glad I could help.

  24. JK says:

    OMG, you are the best! Thank you for sharing this awesome program.

  25. dseeker says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your program cleared about 4500 formats and kept about 5 that I actually have. I couldn’t get my file from a mapped network pathway. Just saved a copy to my desktop and it found it fine. Quick and easy. Thanks.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Dseeker, glad the tool worked for you. Unless you use cell styles in some MS Office add-in or VBA macros you proabably don’t need even 5 custom styles that remain. I would click “Force all cell styles to ‘Normal'” and get the most stable custom styles free copy of the file. You WILL NOT LOSE FORMATTING, but will get most compact and stable workbook. Check out Liana’s resources page link in the next blog post: she covers this scenario in the video. Thanks for heads up on large network files performance. I updated main post for eveyone to see your finding. I tested the app on slow network share with 4MB file and sure enough the intial file load and subsequent write was really slow.

  26. Tom says:

    WOW! I have a massively massively complicated spreadsheet, and have been pulling my hair out – I really thought it was far too complex to ever be cleaned properly.

    Just amazing.

    You are a legend, thank you sir!!

  27. Jenni says:

    Thank you!

  28. Paul says:

    Genius! This problem had been causing me grief for months!

  29. Damir says:

    Thank you for sharing XLStylesTool. This tool is great helper. I get rid of “too many different cell formats” error in a breeze. Thanks again!

  30. M Simms says:

    Great job on the XLStylesTool. Was able to convert an XLSX file back to XLS that Excel 2007 could not handle.

  31. David Iverson says:

    This is a very useful tool. As many have said on your board, it is the most efficient way to solve the styles and formats issue. I was wondering if there’s any way to make it run on your currently open active workbook, or will it only work on saved workbook files?

  32. XLGeek says:

    Hi David, if you need to clean up workbooks that are open in Excel client then the easiest thing to do is to write a small VBA based add-in or use 3rd party add-in (I’ve seen both VBA and managed code). Because it is so simple to write your own VBA add-in dedicated to styles removal that would be my recommendation. It can even be as simple as a workbook with a macro that cleans active workbook. However, it will be about 100+ times slower than OpenXML based tool and there will almost certainly be some unused styles that VBA or managed code can’t access. Also, even when you delete styles programmatically in the workbook active session all styles will still be present in the styles drop down list until you re-open your Excel session (even if you close the workbook cached styles will not go away). Standalone OpenXML utilities are guaranteed to produce 100% stable files much faster. Just in case here is a url with some sample VBA optimized for speed: BTW, Gymratz successfully wrote managed code based Excel add-in for active workbooks. You may try reaching out to him.

  33. Richard says:

    Thanks for creating such a useful utility. Similar to many comments above I have been trying ten ways to Sunday to convert a file that came other from one of our customers.

  34. Jonathan says:

    This is brilliant!

    Great job, and thanks!

  35. Robert Farmer says:

    This is really a very obscure problem that should have a KB. Thank you for your utility and sharing it with the public.

    • XLGeek says:

      It does. Only problem is KB article content is old and doesn’t cover Excel 2007+ cases. The MS KB article comes up as first item on all search engines when you type in: “Too many different cell formats”. Also, even if you dig in, find and apply all fixes/SPs for Open XML based files you will still need to clean out already corrupted content from exisiting files.

  36. calvin2a says:

    I have never used *.xlsx or *.xlsm files, only *.xls files which are suffering from too many formats. I tried your fix on my xls spreadsheet and of course it didn’t work…it reports “File is corrupt.” Can anyone help me with this newbie problem. Thanks for any help. I know you are busy. Sincerely, cal.

    • calvin2a says:

      When the “Too Many Formats” occurs, is it reporting too many on that particular worksheet or too many in the workbook?

      • XLGeek says:

        Hi Calvin,
        1. The error applies to the entire workbook: all custom styles and unique cell format combinations are collected from all sheets and stored in a single object at the workbook level. In Excel 2003 the combined limit for both is around 4000.
        2. If you don’t have access to Excel 2007 or 2010 then my utility won’t help you. If your Excel 2003 files have been around for a while or came from users that potentially saved them down from Excel 2007+ to Excel 2003 then you may very well have styles related corruption. You can very quickly iterate through the styles defined in the workbook (and delete them) using VBA. I can share the sample code with you if you are ok using VBA. VBA has the advantage in your case since it will work in Excel 2003, but for Excel 2007+ it is not the best option: styles upper limit was raised to 64,534 (VBA will run very slow when you are hovering around the upper limit), VBA can’t access and delete some styles with low IDs that are still corrupted but treated as built-in, VBA will have trouble with hidden styles. If your problem is truly related to very high count of unique cell format combos (this actually is pretty rare) you have no choice in Excel 2003, but to simplify your formatting by hand, using automation code or a utility. Hope this information helps.

  37. calvin2a says:

    I forgot to specify I’m using Excel v.2003.

  38. James says:

    Sensational. I thank you very much for sharing your XLStylesTool!


  39. Robert says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to deal with the formatting problems and how many times formatting had to be recreated after recovering from the corrupted file when someone saved the spreadsheet after reaching the “too many formats” error. You are my hero!! It not only kept the formatting I needed, but reduced the file sizes by half. Thank you so much for sharing!

  40. AMB says:

    I have been fighting this for months and couldn’t use my workbooks. I frequently paste from one instance of excel to another. This was AWESOME! THANK YOU!!!!

  41. JD says:

    Great stuff!!! got me out of a lot of strife if I had to recreate the workbooks that had this error. THANKS!!

  42. calvin2a says:

    Is there an easy way to verify if .Net3.5 is installed on my pc? Also will versions later than 3.5 work?

    • XLGeek says:

      1. .Net3.5 is pre-installed on Win 7. On XP you can go to installed programs in Control panel and check whether it is installed. Also all screenshots of errors specific to .Net run-time being not present on the PC are captured in the next blog post.
      2. Yes, I published .Net 4.0 version of the tool: the client download is smaller and execution is a little faster. Link to that version is in the post above in the Updates section.
      3. If you have run-time issues then the best option for you is the web based app. Browser based Silverlight version of the tool requires the smallest download and works even on Macs. It is the last update to this post. Let me know if you bump into any problems.

  43. Daniel says:

    Any chance this could be converted to a batch file to run on a bunch of files at once?

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Daniel, bulk/batch file cleaning scenario is already covered in the console app that I already published. Check out the link in the first update to this post: bulk file processing was top request from medium to large size company users because this issue spreads like a virus. ReadMe file covers bulk file cleaning scenario. Try it out and reply to this post if you want a non-console UI on top of it and describe what you want that UI to do. I’ll try to carve some time out for it.

  44. Daniel says:

    I was more interested in a batch file that could handle subfolders.

  45. Daniel says:

    That would be fantastic!

    • XLGeek says:

      Ok, I’ll try to create new version with subfolder monitoring this weekend. The reason subfolders are not supported right now is that the number of files can really tax the buffer of the object that monitors the file system. If buffer goes over its allocated capacity newly detected/discovered files may not get processed. Can you give me an idea how many files will be in these subfolders? I have to pre-allocate memory based on some reasonable max file count value.

  46. Daniel says:

    I was wondering if that might be an issue.

    We have as many as 100 or so files per folder.
    Some of the folders can go ten deep.
    Basic support will be fine so that I can just dump part of a folder structure into a monitored folder and then copy it back out when completed. The more you can do, the better of course.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Daniel, the modifications for subfolder monitoring were simple. You can pick up new version in: XLBulkCleaner. Zip file name is XLBulkCleanerSF. I set the buffer at the absolute possible max of 64K allowed by the object model. Please try it out. Like I said earlier: if you move too many files you can overload the buffer, so please watch the log. You will have to determine optimal batch size (i.e., number of files to copy/move in a single shot) by trying it out. Let me know how it works for you and of course any suggestions to make it work better are welcome.

    • XLGeek says:

      Just tried out bulk cleaner with subfolder support (2 levels deep) on the most complex Excel model that I could find in my organization with 164 files: 66 files in 1st, 33 in 2nd, 9 in 3rd and 56 files at the root of the folder that I dropped onto the monitored share. All files got detected and all without exception got processed when I copied them onto the monitored share.

  47. Dima says:

    Bless your heart, XL Geek!

    As others have already said countless times over, this really, really does work! I can’t tell you how much wasted time you’ve saved me. I was ready to rip my hair out! Now, I don’t have to. Yaay!

    If I could, I’d plant a big, fat kiss right square on your kisser! Bless you! XOXOX

    Your new BIGGEST fan,
    Dima ❤

  48. Julius says:

    Can you please help me how to use this tool using xls file?

    • XLGeek says:

      The only way to use xls files with XLStylesTool is to upgrade them to OOXML, use the tool and then save down to xls again. My October 4th, 2011 post contains details regarding xls upgrade to xlsx in case you don’t have access to Office 2007 or later.

  49. Carsten says:

    After wasting hours of time trying to convert a .xlsx to .xls and actually doing my weekly reports double in Excel2007 and Excel2003, because some of my clients don’t have Excel2007, I finally found your tool and am now somewhere between crying over the wasted time and telling everyone what a great day today is because I found (your solution). 🙂
    Thank you ever so much, You have restored my faith in humanity, the Internet and Microsoft products 🙂

  50. Paul says:

    Perfect! I had several workbooks from a government agency into which we needed to put several thousand responses. Because of the varied topics, we needed to split the work among several teams. All was well until the very end, of course, when we needed to combine the teams’ work into the agency’s workbooks. Nothing — we’d paste and get Nothing. Until I found and used Sergi’s wonderful tool. It is the essence of speed and focused functionality. It does one thing superbly. Thanks for eliminating the “too many formats” error so we could give the agency our responses.

  51. Andy says:

    You are the man! Thanks for creating this valuable utility! Worked great!

  52. Ali says:

    Your the man bro! Thanks for this tool and making it free!

  53. Ollyland says:

    Awesome. Thank you very much.

  54. Joe says:

    Thank you so much! This has saved us soooo much time!

  55. bradach333drew says:

    Thank you, i’ve been using a macro to fix this problem for 6 months now, the problem is that it takes about 15 minutes to run. your program fixed it in about 2 seconds. Thank you kindly. Micro$oft should be paying you a 7 figure sum for fixing their broken software!

  56. Nick says:

    Huge thank you… you’ve made my day and shortend my working weekend!

  57. chris says:

    OMG, i have had this problem forever. granted i have huge worksheets, and i didn’t know how to fix it. i wish i had come across this earlier. thank you soo much. it worked great. you are very generous, and thank you for posting so the rest of us can use it. Please always feel free to post your fixes to these hideous bugs! This is a great utility. Have a great day. I can’t believe MS hasn’t incorporated this into MS Excel yet, and you wrote this 2.5 years ago. thank you again.!

  58. Kathy says:

    Thank you!!!!!!!! Worked like an absolute charm!

  59. Abra says:

    Excellent tool! Thanks so much for the help. Worked perfectly.

  60. Vik says:

    Thank you so much. This problem had plagued me for years!

  61. Cohiba says:

    Really works!!! I have countless excel spreadsheets that are contaminated and your tool soughts it out one time!!

  62. Nick C. says:

    Your utility worked a treat! You are a saint! Wishing you and your loved ones long and happy lives – much love and respect. Thanks again Sergei!

  63. Zoltan T says:

    What an angel works for the bliss of mankind!
    Thanks for these excellent tools!

  64. Solo says:

    Your tool works like a charm … You’ve made my day, thanks very much

  65. Pingback: Sharing useful utilities | XLGeeks space | eXtra

  66. Joe says:

    Hi, any chance of creating XL Style Tools for Mac OS?

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Joe. Yes, couple of Mac users asked me last year for a Mac OS option. I wrote Silverlight 4 version of the tool that runs in Safary on Mac. Please try it and let me know if it works for you.

  67. katie says:

    Love this! Thank you so much you saved me hours of work!

  68. Nick says:

    Brilliant and easy to use I spend nearly 2 hours trying to create spreadsheet useing cut and paste wished Ihad looked 1.55 minutes earlier thank you

  69. Sharon says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  70. Andrew says:

    I have been dealing with the “Too Many Formats” issue for the past week where it wouldn’t let me even perform simple tasks such as deleting rows and even add borders. The tool took about 20 seconds and saved me hours of frustrating salvaging from the “corrupt” document. Thank you!

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Andrew, 20 sec processing time sounds a bit high if you have a PC that is 3 or less years old. You should check your workbook for memory overallocation: i.e., check every worksheet and make sure it doesn’t use all million+ rows and all columns. Hit END key, release it, hit HOME key. If the cursor goes to the bottom of the worksheet and/or last column you should delete blank unused rows and columns. Really glad your workbook is stable now. Thank you for positive feedback.

  71. Angela says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been up most of the night trying to work with a spreadsheet I’d inherited with the “Too many formats” problem. I tried recreating the file multiple times to no avail. Your fix restored my sanity. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  72. Jerry Girardi says:

    Works like a charm, I too opened in 2007 and then ran the utility and successfully saved back to 2003. I have massive spreadsheets that bill our client and all were created in 2003. I tried to move to 2007 but just hated it, too many clicks to do anything. I could never have recreated these files. I cannot say thank enough. Since you do not want payment for such an incredible tool, do you have a charity that can be donated to in your honor? Thank you again for your incredible generosity.

    • XLGeek says:

      Thanks Jerry for such kind post. I really appreciate what you and other tool users shared on this blog. Comments like yours inspire me to do more and keep all tools on this blog free. I don’t have any charities in mind. It is good enough for me to know that I can help people. I get a lot of good information and advice from the web and this blog is how I’m trying to contribute my share. We live in amazing times: a solution to a common problem can be shared with the entire planet in mere seconds and save thousands of people from punching a hole in their computer screen :).

  73. Viktor says:

    Thank you so very much!!! We’ve had the “too many different cell formats” for far too long. I still can’t believe how quickly and easily your program fixed it! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  74. Jim says:

    The most amazing excel tool saved me hours of frustration. We really appreciates your work and generosity. Thanks for sharing!

  75. Oksana says:

    XLStyles Tool does exactly what is needed, very efficiently, super quickly! In the past, I had to deal so many times with recreating formatting after recovering the corrupted files. I wish I had come across this tool earlier. You are a Genius! Thank you so much for sharing this great utility. I wish MS incorporated this into MS Excel so everybody could use it! Thank you again, it is very much appreciated! Brilliant and easy to use Tool!

  76. Bill R says:

    I used the style removal tool. Thank you very much!

  77. Jiminy says:

    Awesome help (xl cleaner). I have been trying for hours to remove some corrupted formating I got from a supplier, and this did the trick perfectly! Thanks a lot.

  78. HDig says:

    Thank you!!! I have been searching for a solution for so long till i finally came across this.
    Worked with 2003 files for me (conv to 2007, run process, convert back)

  79. Sam says:

    Thanks, bro! You’re a lifesaver.

  80. JavaSun says:

    After spending more than a few hours restarting my workbook over & over again from scratch, I came across this blog when I finally searched for help. Of course it’s after hours & our IT department is long gone. I kept getting the “Too many different cell formats” and was at a stand-still. I have to say this tool saved me alot of grief & frustration and was very easy to implement, knowing nothing about what I was doing! Your tips to other users proved very helpful & my workbook it now fixed and I was able to move on & finish it. THANK YOU!

  81. lauren says:

    Thank you so much! I was having problems pasting into my file, and was also running into problems highlighting cells. This cleaned everything up very quickly!

  82. Rudy says:

    You are my hero! Thank you sooo much!

  83. Jon says:

    Thank you XL Geekster for making my life better! I’ve been on an assignment for 3 months now, wrestling with a behemonth of a file. Everyday became a “what error message will I discover today”. Ran your XLStyles Tool utility and a) the file opens, saves quicker b) is smaller c) no longer gives me the “too many formats” error message d) no longer gives me the “excel was unable to read…” error message. Today is a great day. Thank you.

  84. benodiktine says:

    You are my HERO!!! Thank you so much for making this wonderful tool! You F#@%ING ROCK!!!

  85. Kathryn says:

    Your utility is fantastic, thank you very much! I think I shall be using this a lot!

  86. Purvi says:

    Thank you !!!! this simple tool saved me hours of work…..

  87. JR says:

    After pulling an all nighter working on an excel sheet….and realizing at 6:30 am that the file was corrupted…. I almost punched a hole through my screen.

    Thanks go for your utility. You sir, saved my day.

  88. Tim Birt says:

    Hello, when using the Silverlight 5 Version I get the error message “Can’t get styles info: [Arg_NullReferenceException]”. Does this mean it will not work with my file or do I need to do something differently? Thank you.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Tim,

      Most likely this means that the file got damaged during last save and package or package part that the tool needs to read can’t be read. This is why it throws null reference error. You can send me a copy and I can check it out for you. Let me know if you want me to contact you via e-mail. Also, if you have a file backup that opens in Excel you should try it in the app.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Tim, I think I know what is happening. I believe that you are using password protected file. Please remove the password, clean the file and then re-apply the password. The file open password encrypts the contents of the file package and as a result it can’t be read by the tool. Let me and everyone here know if that was the issue. File open password is explicitly called out as the condition that would prevent successful file processing in the tool related posts and ReadMe files.

  89. Tim Birt says:

    Sergei, whilst that has now worked I still have a major issue with my file, please can you email me? Thanks.

  90. Lolly Shu says:

    You have saved me from AGONY that has been unrelenting for over a year. I didn’t even understand WHY I had all the duplicating cell styles! But over the last several months it has gotten worse to the extent that (a) I couldn’t even see all my custom styles because there were so many duplicates of some of them and (b) that could not be deleted manually or in any other way I found.

    Thank you so very much for this amazing tool. You are a GIFT!

  91. Stefanie says:

    You have solved such a huge issue for me and my IT department was beyond stumpped and told me tough luck. My life is changed!!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and making excel that much more awesome!!!!!!!

  92. Kim Grindrod says:

    Thank you a million times over. I tried to fix this myself with a macro but after 2 hours of hitting “yes delete the style” I gave up. Then, I found your fix and it worked in about 2 seconds. I can’t thank you enough.

  93. Emilia says:

    I would like to use your fix in Excel 2003 with files of extension xnv. Do you know I will be able to use it? Note that these files can not be converted into 2007 format because that renders them unusable.

    Thanks in advance!

  94. Lee says:

    Unbelieveable how easy that was. You just saved me hours, if not days, of work. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

  95. Robert says:

    Hello, great product!! Does the online version save or keep any data from the spreadsheet I up load to it?

    • XLGeek says:

      No it doesn’t. Please read Silverlight app dedicated post where I went over the details. There are also some comments from other users on this subject. You can turn WiFi off and pull the network cable out. App will work for as long as you have it loaded in the browser. SL5 does everything on the client PC.

  96. Nicolette DuBois says:

    I designed a workbook into which each month I paste data, and all the pivot tables and sub-schedules update. For months I’ve had trouble with that “can’t paste” problem – so I was super happy to get your fix today! Quick and easy! I passed your website on to an IT friend / XL guru-ess. a thousand thanks!

  97. Tekiebelu says:

    This was so very helpful! Simple to use and brilliantly executed. I can’t thank you enough for making this tool available to everyone for free! I’m so glad I found your website when I encountered this problem for the first time today. I keep my workbooks clean and I don’t cross copy/paste between Excel instances or use multiple styles, named ranges, etc. Unfortunately, the other spreadsheet users don’t hold themselves to the same standards. I was flummoxed and frustrated when the error kept occurring and, on top of that, the workbook kept crashing too! No further problems with either since I used your handy little utility. A thousand thanks!

  98. Steve.Kim says:

    I appreciate to your devotion really.

    You saved many times of office workers. You are a great savior to us!

  99. Emily says:

    You saved my lot of time by introducing this application. Most of the times I need to clear formats on my client documents which I cannot upload on this URL. I read that it is safe and my data doesnt leave my machine at all, but my organization wont allow me to use this app. Can you please let me know how do I download ‘WinForms app’? Thanks!

  100. Kevin says:

    Apparently the template I use everyday has accumulated 63,341 styles, and only 4 are used. This application saved me some serious headaches. Now when I must cut/paste I will start with a fresh clean template. Will also try to utilize the built in styles more, and rely on custom styles less. Thank you!!!!

  101. Fran says:

    Awesome, loving your work! Thanks

  102. Katie says:

    This just saved me a TON of frustration! Thank you!!

  103. Simon says:

    Hi XLGEEK,
    Same here! You’re life saver…
    Still one thing I don’t understand is that only my colleague seems to get into trouble with too many cell formats. I don’t have the problem, and we work on server with same files. We do copy files over and over again and copy-paste data for evaluation purposes. I have no idea what the root cause is of the problem and why it doesn’t occur on files I am working on.
    Anyway, we have a perfect fix now for which I am very thankful!

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Simon, it is impossible to tell why you don’t have issues and your colleagues do without exact traces. I’m explaining in details in various replies in the and .Net4.0 version release post what some of the most common scenarios are if you want to dig in and see what might apply to your specific situation: e.g., copy/paste between instances, source workbooks already close to the limit… Thank you for leaving the comment. Feedback shapes my utilities.

  104. will says:

    Thanks a bunch! A whole library of templates has been plagued by cell styles. Your tool will make it very easy to clean up the mess. Much appreciated.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Will, thanks for the comment. Sounds like you are in the enterprise environment. I wrote a bulk cleaner tool for multi-file cleaning. Latest version does recursive nested folder cleaning of multiple workbooks. Check out the link to the related post with additional utilities in the first update to this post.

  105. Debi says:

    Thank you for making this available. I can’t tell you how many hours I have wasted trying to figure this out to no avail.

  106. Kethee says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was going to pull my hair out trying to figure out how to clean my file!

  107. Kunle says:

    You’ve just made someone very very happy! And of course saved someone his/her job. So I say thank you very job.

  108. Bob P says:

    Worked perfectly – thanks!

  109. Mong says:

    Thank you so so so so much! I can’t believe this works (and it’s free)! Thank you!

  110. robbyreyes says:

    Thanks XLGeek! It worked.

  111. Wiliam says:

    Thank you very much… I find this tool very helpful 🙂

  112. Pratap says:

    Thanks A lot…. It works like charm

  113. Amy says:

    Amazing. It actually worked, thank you for creating this.

  114. This tool is so good! That you aren’t trying to profit off it is truly admirable.

  115. Christian D. says:

    Dear Sergei,

    Long time XLStylesTool user here. I cannot recall how many times your app has helped me removing undeletable styles, solving extreme slowness on opening some large workbooks, or recovering otherwise corrupted workbooks. I am deeply grateful for your skills and generosity, and promise to buy you a beer if you ever come to Chile (just let me know).

    I just wanted to (selfishly) suggest that Powerpoint files would also greatly benefit from a similar utility, if you ever find the time and inclination, as they tend to collect slide layout styles when pasting slides from other presentations, and sometimes end up exhibiting erratic behavior due to silent file corruption. 🙂

  116. Bill says:

    I ran the utility on a large workbook with 40 worksheets. Deleted 106 unused formats, 56 invalid named ranges and 4 hidden named ranges. The file went from 3.77 MB to 3.72 MB. Hoping that my boss can now open it with his Excel 2000.
    Thanks much for your creativity and generosity!!

  117. Bill says:

    I neglected to mention the number of styles went from 117 to 50

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