Lost Text When Using Two Instances of Excel

pogrady

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
2
Hi.

Copying and pasting cells from a worksheet in one instance of Excel to a worksheet in another instance of Excel results in the text being truncated.


I have a laptop display extended to a VDU so I have two instances of Excel open so that I can view two Excel files at the same time, rather than the usual way of opening both files in a single instance of Excel (in which case you can only view one worksheet at a time and have to switch between Windows). Sorry to labour the point, but this is not the same as simply opening two files in Excel (this has caused confusion when explaining the problem to others).

I have just copied & pasted four big cells and below are the number of words, characters and characters with spaces respectively which were copied accross:

(36, 219, 254)
(43, 213, 252)
(44, 211, 253)
(45, 210, 253)


It looks as though Excel is limiting pastes to 2^8 = 256 characters (with spaces), which makes me think it is an inherent built-in limitation.

To replicate the process I went through, you need to double-click on an Excel file to open it. To open the second file, launce Excel from the Start menu and open a second file from within the Excel file menu.

Copying and pasting cells within the same worksheet, pasting to another worksheet but within the same file, or pasting to another worksheet in a different file but in the same instance of Excel doesn't appear to be a problem. I have ensured that the cells are of the same type, i.e. Text.

Has anyone else experienced this problem and more importantly, do you know a solution? I would really like to keep both worksheets in view at the same time so I need two instances of Excel open. Is this problem just a characteristic of Excel and has no solution?

Thanks in advance,

Paul
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Andrew Poulsom

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
73,092
Welcome to the Board.

Yes there is a limit on the number of characters, which can be overcome by using Edit|Paste Special|Text.
 

pogrady

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
2
Andrew,

Thanks for the reply. The limitation with your suggestion, if I have understood you correctly, is that I need to select the text within a cell (as opposed to the cell itself) and paste it this way. I have over 1000 cells per worksheet, and several worksheets / files, and I would like to cherry-pick a cell from here, a couple of rows from there, a large block from another one etc.

I have actually been copying a row or blocks of rows at a time, reviewing the contents and then where there is missing data, goind back to the original cell and slecting the text to copy (as opposed to selecting the cell itself).

This works of course but it means it is taking me 6 hours to complete 4 hours work, and it is just a little frustrating. I simply want to select cells, copy and paste, and be able to trust that the data has pasted correctly.

If I know there is no way around this then I will get by without any complaints, I just don't want to finsih this project I am working on in a few months only for someone to say 'why didn't you copy the cells this way . . .'.

Regards,

Paul
 

Andrew Poulsom

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
73,092
I am not saying you have to you need to select the text in the cell. You can select a range, copy it then Paste Special|Text.

The point is that Excel uses a proprietary clipboard format when copying/pasting in the same instance. When copying/pasting between instances the Windows clipboard is used and the source is treated as any other external application, and there is a limit of 255 characters per cell.

Why don't you open your workbook in one instance of Excel and arrange the windows vertically?
 

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