Excel is one of the most extensively used applications of the Microsoft Suite, almost at par with Word and Excel. The app provides a wide range of uses, from managing your personal finance to creating professional models. This is done by imputing data on rows and columns of cells. Sometimes, though, you may face errors with these cells. A very common one is where Excel says that it cannot add or create any new cells, which can be a problem if you’re in the middle of developing a spreadsheet. In this article, we will be demonstrating how you can fix this error.
Cannot Add or Create New Cells in Excel
Below are some of the fixes you can implement if Microsoft Excel cannot Add or Create New Cells:
- Remove cell protection
- Unmerge the Rows
- Use the VBA to Force Used Range
- Clear content from unused rows and columns
- Unfreeze the panes
1] Remove cell protection
- Open Excel and press Ctrl+A to select all the cells. Now, click on the Format option under the Home tab, and from the drop-down, select Format Cells
- Here, under the Protection tab, uncheck the Locked box and save the change by clicking on Ok
- Then, visit the Review tab and click on the Protect Sheet option
- Enter the password to unprotect your spreadsheet and save these settings
2] Unmerge the Rows
Sometimes, it’s possible that users can merge rows and columns unintentionally and, in such cases, Excel may impose restrictions on adding new cells to the sheet. Thus, you can try unmerging rows and columns to solve the issue.
- Firstly, locate the set of rows and/or columns you’ve merged. Here, I have merged the first 18 rows and 9 columns into one cell
- Click on the merged cell and from under the Home tab, click on Merge and Center
- Repeat the process till you’ve unmerged all, or at least most of your merged cells, and check if you can add cells to the sheet thereafter
3] Use the VBA to Force Used Range
You can also use the Visual Basic Applications editor to restrict the used range of the spreadsheet that you’re facing the issue in only to the area where the data is spread out. Here’s how that can be done:
- On the bottom slab where all the active worksheets are tabbed, right-click on the problematic one and click on View Code
- Now, press Ctrl + G keys together to open the Immediate Window
- In the Immediate Window, type ‘ActiveSheet.UsedRange’ and press Enter
- There won’t be a visible change but there’s a good chance that the error will be rectified by this
4] Clear content from unused rows and columns
Although you may not be instantly aware of it, there may be cells that don’t hold any data but comprise some content like a different format or some borders. These cells may be taking up some space, thus not allowing Excel to add any more cells to your current spreadsheet. You can clear the content from these cells by following the steps below:
- Select the column to the right of the last column that holds any data in your spreadsheet. Then, press Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow key to highlight all the cells that don’t hold any data but you may have formatted in some way
- In the Home tab, click on the border menu, and from the drop-down select No Border
- Next to Borders is the option to fill colors. Click on its drop-down and select No Fill
- Remove all the data you may have unintentionally entered on your worksheet by pressing the Delete key
5] Unfreeze the panes
Freezing your spreadsheet into quarters or panes can help make referencing the data in it easier, but this may result in the error in question. Here’s how you can unfreeze panes.
- Click on the View tab from the top
- Open the Freeze Panes drop-down
- Select Unfreeze Panes
- Save your current work and then reopen to check if the issue has been resolved
It is highly unlikely for the issue to persist after implementing all of the aforementioned workarounds but in case it does, your best bet is to move all your data to a new spreadsheet.
How do you have multiple lines in an Excel cell?
It is possible to input multiple lines of data in one single Excel cell by following these simple steps:
- Select the cell you want to input data in
- Enter your first line
- Once done, press the Alt and Enter keys together. This will make space for a new line in the same cell
- Repeat the process if you want to add multiple lines to a cell.
How do I allow people to only edit certain cells in Excel?
If you want your spreadsheet to be only partly editable i.e., only some of its cells can be edited, you can do that by locking the portion of the spreadsheet that you don’t want to be messed around with. In order to do that, you simply have to select the cells that you want unchanged, press Ctrl+1 keys to open the Format cells dialog box and from the Protection tab, check the Locked box.
Hope this helps!