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“The field is too small” Database Error


Published: 14 Feb 2013
Last Modified Date: 21 Aug 2015

Issue

In Tableau Desktop, when you try to refresh a data extract or connect to an Excel workbook, the following error might occur:

Database error 0x80040E57: The field is too small to accept the amount of data you attempted to add. Try inserting or pasting less data.
Unable to create extract

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Data connection to a flat file (CSV or Excel)

Resolution

  • Make sure that fields in the Excel file fall within the Microsoft Jet driver limitations of 255 characters per field.
  • If the file cannot be made to fit the Jet limitations, bring the data into a more robust data source such as SQL Server or Oracle.

Cause

Flat files such as Excel, Access, and CSV are connected to Tableau Desktop through the Microsoft Jet database driver. This driver has the following limitations:

  • 65,535 rows
  • 255 columns
  • 255 characters per field

These limits are set within the Jet driver and are not controlled by Tableau Desktop. Tableau Support has seen this error when more than 255 columns are returned in a query, as well as when a text field exceeds 255 characters.

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