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How to reduce Excel file size?

Sometimes, it will take minutes to open or save if the Excel file is too large. For solving this problem, here in this tutorial, it tells you how to reduce the Excel file size by removing the contents or formats which are unnecessary or never used.

1 Remove conditional formatting

2 Remove useless formulas

3 Clear data formatting

4 Compress pictures

5 Delete watches

6 Clear invisible characters


1 Remove conditional formatting

Conditional Formatting is handy to highlight some specific data based on some rules, but at the same time, it will make your Excel file heavy. For reducing the size of the Excel file, you can remove the conditional formatting from the necessary cells.

Select the cells you do not need the conditional formatting anymore.

Click Home tab > Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Selected Cells.
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If you do not need conditional formatting in the sheet anymore, choose Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.


2 Remove useless formulas

In some times, after you use formulas to combine data or extract text or achieve other goals, you may forget to remove them which will do some occupy.

Select the formula cells which you no longer need the formula, and press Ctrl + C to copy them.

Then select the original position of these selected cells, right-click to show the context menu, and select Paste Special > Values in Paste Values section.
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Now the formulas have been removed and leave only values.

doc reduce file size 1  If you have Kutools for Excel installed, you can use the To Actual feature to quickly convert all selected formulas to actual values.
doc reduce file size 1 doc reduce file size 1

For details of To Actual, please go to visit the tutorial.

For free 30-day trial of Kutools for Excel, please download from here.


3 Clear data formatting

Cell formatting also weighs your file down.

Select the cells which do not contain data, and go to Home > Clear (in Editing group) > Clear Formats.
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doc reduce file size 1  If you have Kutools for Excel installed, you can use the Clear Characters Formatting feature to quickly clear all formatting of the characters in selected cells.
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Note that this will remove all character formatting including subscript and superscript.

For details of Clear Characters Formatting, please go to visit the tutorial.

For free 30-day trial of Kutools for Excel, please download from here.


4 Compress picture

Pictures take up a lot of space in Excel files. If you want to reduce the size of an Excel file, compressing pictures will be a good method.

doc reduce file size 1 The sharpness of the pictures will be changed if compress pictures.

Select a picture. Then the Picture Format tab is displayed, click it and then click Compress Pictures.
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In Compress Pictures dialog:

Uncheck Apply only to this picture checkbox, it will compress all pictures in the file. Default, this checkbox is checked, it will compress the selected picture only.

Then choose one resolution as you need, and click OK.
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5 Delete watches

If there are many formulas and sheets, you can check if there are some watches added in Watch Window which also can make file heavy.

Click Formula > Watch Window.
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In the Watch Window, select the watches you do not need anymore, and click Delete Watch.
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6 Clear invisible characters

In an Excel file, there may be some invisible characters such as line break, non-breaking space, and trailing space which also occupy the space of the file.

Here we can use the Find and Replace feature to quickly replace the invisible characters with nothing.

Supposing to replace non-breaking space with nothing, select the cells or the sheets, then press Ctrl + H to enable the Find and Replace feature.

And place cursor at Find what textbox, and hold Alt key and press 0160 on the number keyboard.

Then leave nothing in the Replace with textbox, and click Replace All.
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Now all non-breaking spaces are cleared.

For removing line breaks, hold Alt key and press 010 in Find what textbox

For removing trailing spaces or extra spaces, you can use the Kutools for Excel’s Remove Space feature which can remove leading/trailing/extra/all spaces as you need.
doc reduce file size 1 doc reduce file size 1

For details of Remove Spaces, please go to visit the tutorial.

For free 30-day trial of Kutools for Excel, please download from here.


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