Solving "Column Validation Failed When Evaluating Formulas" Error

The dreaded "Column Validation Failed when Evaluating Formulas" error can leave developers scratching their heads in frustration. This error occurs when a formula used in a column of a system, such as an Excel spreadsheet, exceeds the predefined limit of characters. Here we’ll provide a quick break down of what the error means and give you detailed step-by-step instructions on how to resolve it.

What Does the Error Mean?

When using software that utilizes formulas to evaluate data, a limit is set on how many characters allowed in the formula. When the number of characters exceeds the recommended limit, the formula is invalid and produces the "Column Validation Failed" error. The limit is usually set at 256 characters but can vary depending on the system in use.

Step-by-Step Guide for Resolving the Issue

In order to resolve this error, it is necessary to reduce the number of characters in your formula or to rewrite the formula entirely. The first step of the process is to identify the formula that is producing the error.

  1. Open the spreadsheet or software that produces the error.
  2. Inspect the formula in question. Is it a complex formula? Are there many operators in the formula?
  3. Identify all of the elements used in the formula. Are there any elements that can be eliminated or replaced?
  4. Rewrite or simplify the formula. You may need to break it into several smaller formulas.
  5. Verify the new formula. Make sure the syntax is correct.
  6. Test the new formula. Is it producing the same results as before?
  7. Save your changes and exit the software.


What is the maximum number of characters allowed in a formula?

The maximum number of characters allowed in a formula varies depending on the system in use, but typically it is 256.

Why is the error occurring?

The error is occurring because the formula being used exceeds the maximum limit of characters set by the system.

How can I identify the formula causing the error?

To identify the formula causing the error, open the system in use and inspect the formula in question. Look for complex formulas with many operators as these may be the cause of the issue.

Can I rewrite the formula?

Rewriting the formula may be necessary in order to reduce the number of characters used in the formula. Breaking the formula into smaller formulas may also help.

Is there any software I can use?

Yes, there is software available to help automate the process of rewriting and optimizing formulas. Examples of this software include Excel Formula Optimizer and Formula Refactoring Tool.

  1. Stack Overflow:

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