Some Key Changes in 2007/2010/2013 versus 2003

*Below highlights some of the key changes for Windows Excel. They also apply to Mac Excel 2011.

Worksheet Dimensions

A worksheet in Excel 2007/2010/2013 contains 1024 times the cells as in Excel 2003 (and lower). Maximum number of rows is 1,048,576 (versus 256 in Excel 2003 and before).
Maximum number of columns is (versus 256 in Excel 2003 and before).


Usable memory for formulas and pivot caches is increased to 2 gigabytes (GB) from 1 GB in Microsoft Office Excel 2003, 128 megabytes (MB) in Microsoft Excel 2002, and 64 MB in Microsoft Excel 2000.

Smart recalculation limits

The dependency limits that enable smart recalculation rather than full calculation are now limited only by available memory rather than 8,000 cells dependent on a single area and 64,000 areas having dependencies.
Array formulas Full column references are now allowed, and the limit on array formulas referring to another worksheet is increased from 65,000 to available memory.


Maximum rows displayed in a PivotTable report is 1 million. Maximum columns displayed in a PivotTable report is 16,000. Maximum number of unique items within a single Pivot field is 1 million. Maximum number of fields visible in the Fields list is 16,000.


Levels increased from 3 to 64


Drop-down list length changed from 1,000 items to 10,000 items.

Maximum formula length

Increased from 1,000 to 8,000.

Formula nesting levels

Increased from 7 to 64.

Arguments in a function

Increased from 30 to 255.

Conditional formats per cell

Increased from 3 to available memory.

Unique cell styles in a workbook

Increased from 4,000 to 64,000

Unique colors per workbook

Increased from 56 to 4.3 billion.

Characters in a cell that can be displayed and printed

Increased to 32,000.