Here is a list of all of the major changes we made to Excel 12 in the area of limits.

The total number of available columns in Excel

Old Limit: 256 (2^8)

New Limit: 16k (2^14)

The total number of available rows in Excel

Old Limit: 64k (2^16)

New Limit: 1M (2^20)

Total amount of PC memory that Excel can use

Old Limit: 1GB

New Limit: Maximum allowed by Windows

Number of unique colours allowed a single workbook

Old Limit: 56 (indexed colour)

New Limit: 4.3 billion (32-bit colour)

Number of conditional format conditions on a cell

Old Limit: 3 conditions

New Limit: Limited by available memory

Number of levels of sorting on a range or table

Old Limit: 3

New Limit: 64

Number of items shown in the Auto-Filter dropdown

Old Limit: 1,000

New Limit: 10,000

The total number of characters that can display in a cell

Old Limit: 1k (when the text is formatted)

New Limit: 32k or as many as will fit in the cell (regardless of formatting)

The number of characters per cell that Excel can print

Old Limit: 1k

New Limit: 32k

The total number of unique cell styles in a workbook (combinations of all cell formatting)

Old Limit: 4000

New Limit: 64k

The maximum length of formulas (in characters)

Old Limit: 1k characters

New Limit: 8k characters

The number of levels of nesting that Excel allows in formulas

Old Limit: 7

New Limit: 64

Maximum number of arguments to a function

Old Limit: 30

New Limit: 255

Maximum number of items found by “Find All”

Old Limit: ~64k (65472)

New Limit: ~2 Billion

Number of rows allowed in a Pivot Table

Old Limit: 64k

New Limit: 1M

Number of columns allowed in a Pivot Table

Old Limit: 255

New Limit: 16k

Maximum number of unique items within a single Pivot Field

Old Limit: 32k

New Limit: 1M

Length of the MDX name for a Pivot Table item; also the string length for a relational Pivot Table

Old Limit: 255 characters

New Limit: 32k

The length at which fields’ labels are truncated when added to PivotTable; this also includes caption length limitations

Old Limit: 255

New Limit: 32k

The number of fields (as seen in the field list) that a single PivotTable can have

Old Limit: 255

New Limit: 16k

The number of cells that may depend on a single area before Excel must do full calculations instead of partial calculations (because it can no longer track the dependencies required to do partial calculations)

Old Limit: 8k

New Limit: Limited by available memory

The number of different areas in a sheet that may have dependencies before Excel must do full calculations instead of partial calculations (because it can no longer track the dependencies required to do partial calculations)

Old Limit: 64k

New Limit: Limited by available memory

The number of array formulas in a worksheet that can refer to another (given) worksheet

Old Limit: 65k

New Limit: Limited by available memory

The number of categories that custom functions can be bucketed into

Old Limit: 32

New Limit: 255

The number of characters that may be updated in a non-resident external workbook reference

Old Limit: 255

New Limit: 32k

Number of rows of a column or columns that can be referred to in an array formula

Old Limit: 65,335

New Limit: Limitation removed (full-column references allowed)

The number of characters that can be stored and displayed in a cell formatted as Text

Old Limit: 255

New Limit: 32k