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  1. #1
    rolmsted
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    Text cell fills with asterisks

    I searched the archives and didn't find an answer to this, am hoping someone knows. I am only an occasional Excel user, so I hope this isn't a dumb question.

    Excel 2000 9.0.3821 SR 1
    I am pasting text into a cell, and when it reaches a certain maximum, the cell displays asterisks all across. The cell is formatted as text, not one of the number formats. The contents of the cell are still visible in the 'edit box'. I have tried deleting hard returns, in case there are some invisible characters in there. Also tried adjusting the row height. Tried "paste special" and this put the data in multiple rows. Pasted that into the single cell, and the same thing - asterisks- happens.

    I would be most grateful if anyone could shed some light on this. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    You might give this a try:

    Right click on the Cell in question, Select Format Cells. Under the 'Alignment' Tab, click on 'Wrap Text.'

    The chances are, this will explode your cell to show the entire contents, (by adjusting row height.)

    Hope this helps!

    Drk.
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  3. #3
    rolmsted
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    I forgot to mention, wrap text is already on.

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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    How many characters are there in the 'problem cell?'

    Drk.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    A few possibilites come to mind:

    A, A font problem? I doubt it, but I am thinking outside the box... or,
    B, You missed a 'hidden' character. You can try copying the text, importing to Word, Save As Plain Text, open in notepad, and paste to your cell...

    Hope this helps! --you're right, MSKB was of NO help on this problem.. [img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Drk.
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  6. #6
    rolmsted
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    I think I see where you're headed. There are over 300 visible characters- who knows when you count invisible ones like returns. And I wouldn't want to try counting them again. My little pea brain doesn't do well at this sort of thing.

    I copied the cell to another location and started deleting characters. And at a certain point, all of the text showed up. Then when I typed more in, the asterisks came back.

    Apparently there is a maximum capacity. I wonder if there's a way to get around that.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q264/6/26.ASP>Q264626</A> gives the full spec on Excel 2K.
    It appears 1,024 is the maximum number of characters than can be displayed in a cell.

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    I just put well over 2,000 characters in a single cell in Excel 2000, and did not have the problem you are describing. Does this cell have any conditional formatting set? Is there any data validation? Is the cell by any chance a merged cell?
    Legare Coleman

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    In another cell enter
    =LEN(A1)
    where 'A1' is the cell in question.
    I think this should give you the number of characters in the cell.

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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    You could use the function =CLEAN() on the offending cell, which removes any non-prinable characters

    Andrew C

  11. #11
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    Excel's behaviour seems a little odd....

    I have just filled a cell with 1300+ characters in XL2K, and LEN(xx) reports 1,318 characters. Adding my test string again, LEN(xx) reports 1,421 characters.

    Excel only displays the first 1000-odd characters, due to the 1,024 character limitaiton you alluded to, but RIGHT(xx,10) displays the last ten characters as entered in the cell, not the last ten displayed. Functions like FIND() or MID() are able to access and return values from characters in the cell, even the ones after the 1,024 characters displayed. In any event, the cell never displayed asterisks or number signs - it just displays the characters as entered, up to the limit of 1,024.

    Even with some non-printing characters (hard carriage returns) I have not been able to duplicate the behaviour originally reported. Maybe I just got a working copy of XL2K?

  12. #12
    rolmsted
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    No conditional formatting, and it's not a merged cell. I'm not sure what you mean by data validation - there's no formula applied to the cell.

  13. #13
    rolmsted
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    I must be a little dense about using functions. (As I said in my first post, I'm just an occasional Excel user.) I place my cursor in the adjacent empty cell, go to the Fx key on the toolbar, select LEN from the list, and either navigate to or type in the value of the cell I want to know the length of. The result - in the cell in which the function formula resides is literally =(LEN)o11. Hmmm. I must be doing something wrong.

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    Data validation is using the Validation command on the Data menu to test the value in the cell as meeting the criteria you set up.
    Legare Coleman

  15. #15
    rolmsted
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    Re: Text cell fills with asterisks

    Thanks for the tip. I set Data Validation to Any value and the behavior persists.

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