Excel: Clean Workbooks

Easily clean your workbooks with UpSlide Clean. Click the Clean or Prepare button and select which actions to apply. Your workbook will be saved, and a cleaned copy will be created.

Various parts of your workbooks can be cleaned. These options are divided into two groups: Clean and Prepare.

Note: For each operation, a tooltip is available inside the application. Just hover it to get a brief description of what the operation does as well as some advice as to how it should be used (see picture below for an example).



The ‘Clean’ operations are designed for large, sometimes old, sometimes corrupted files. The idea is to get rid of unused metadata and formatting, while preserving your data.

Using this, you can get the following benefits:

  • smaller files (as much as 95% size reduction),
  • shorter load times,
  • more stable files,
  • less error messages when opening/closing or copying worksheets.

This is particularly true when working with legacy files initially created using Excel 2003.

There are three clean operations available:

  • remove names with errors,
  • remove all unused styles,
  • crop each worksheet to its actual used range.



The ‘Prepare’ operations are designed to make your workbooks ready for diffusion to others, be it to your coworkers, your boss, or outside your company.

For instance, when sending a document to coworkers, you may want to remove all watches, remove your comments, and remove autocolor.

When sending the workbook to your boss for approval or before a meeting, you would probably go the extra mile and make sure that the first worksheet is selected, that the first cell is selected on every worksheet, and also reset the zoom level.

Finally, when sharing a model outside the company, you would probably want to protect your model by replacing all the formulas by their values, and maybe remove all names and hidden worksheets.

In total, 10 prepare operations are available (see picture for a complete list).


The Clean Report

At the end of the process, a report shows you what exactly has been cleaned in your workbook, as well as the resulting gain in file size. In the image below, for instance, we can see that everything went smoothly, and that a lot of unused styles were removed. The effect on the size of the workbook is very significant.



The Clean feature performs heavy automated operations, and can successfully remove objects that Excel itself cannot get rid of. By design, it is often used on bloated, or even corrupted files that often make Office unstable.

Because of this, UpSlide is sometimes unable to continue treating the file and must stop. In that case, the operation that couldn’t be performed and forced the process to stop is signaled by a red error icon. It is strongly recommended to restart Excel when this happen.s It usually means that your file is too complex or damaged to be treated by the Smart Clean and it would fail again on another attempt.

To reduce the chances of Excel becoming unstable, we recommend you take the following actions:

  • Unprotect your workbook, every worksheet, ranges, etc…
  • Close all other open workbooks
  • Don’t use your computer while UpSlide is cleaning your workbook
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