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Save time and avoid frustration with these smart
and easy ways to setup and print your Excel 2003 (or earlier) worksheets.
Customizing the Print Area
By default, an entire worksheet is printed in Excel
unless you indicate a specific print area. To limit the printed area, 1)
highlight the cells you want to print, 2) choose File > Print Area >
Set Print Area. The new print area remains in place until changed.
To clear the current print area, pick File > Print Area > Clear Print
Quick Print of a Range of Cells
If you only need to temporarily print a range of
cells, just highlight the range and choose File > Print. Under
the category, Print What (bottom-left corner), pick Selection
and choose OK.
The Hidden View-Page Break Preview
Most Excel users have yet to discover the Page
Break Preview, another great way to setup the print area in a worksheet.
Simply choose View > Page Break Preview. A prompt may appear as a
reminder. (This option is also available from the Print Preview view).
The visible white area in the Page Break Preview is
the print area which can be adjusted by moving the solid blue boundary
lines. The dashed lines show where page breaks will occur; these can be
moved to adjust and create manual page breaks which display as solid
blue lines. This view is also a handy way to see how your worksheet
breaks out into pages; notice the gray page labels such as Page 2 in
this view. You can perform all worksheet actions from the Page Break
Preview. I usually change the Zoom (found on the right side of the Standard
toolbar) to 100%.
To change back to the previous view, pick View > Normal.
Set Your Own Page Breaks
Here's another way to control page breaks. Select
the row or column where you want to create a new worksheet page; the
break will appear above the highlighted row or to the left of the
selected column. Next, choose Insert > Page Break. Page breaks
display as dashed lines.
Do you want to print the same rows or columns on
every page? Printing headings is easy with Print Titles. All you need to
do is pick File > Page Setup and choose the Sheet tab.
Under the Print Titles option, choose Rows to repeat at top
and/or Columns to repeat at left. Finally, click into the actual
spreadsheet and highlight the row(s) and/or column(s) that you want to
see on every page. Finish with OK or other print settings.
Fit to Page
Unlike Word documents, content is not limited by
the paper size or orientation. A worksheet can be split into as many
pages as needed to display the content but sometimes you might want to
fit all data into one page by height or width. To do this, first choose
File > Page Setup, set margins to the smallest size that will
work for your layout. Change paper size and orientation if you want.
Next, select the Page tab and under the Scaling category
pick Fit to. For instance, if you want to fit all data columns on
one lengthwise page, change orientation to landscape and choose Fit to 1
page wide by 999 pages tall. Try it-this setting won't stretch pages to 999 pages
but will make sure that a low value won't accidentally shrink the pages
to a much smaller size. Another option under Scaling is to adjust the
size to a percentage of the normal size.
Important Note: with Scaling other than
100%, manual page breaks are ignored.
Easy Page Setup on Multiple Worksheets
I was heading down the hall at a client's building
when one of the managers pulled me into his office. He had just spent
the entire morning repeating the same page setup choices for each of the
worksheets in a large Excel workbook. "Is there an easier way?" he
Here's what you want to do to apply an identical
print page setup to a set of worksheets: group them. Two of the ways to
group worksheets are:
- To highlight all of the worksheets in a workbook,
right-click on any of the sheet tabs and left-click on the option Select
- To select only specific worksheets, hold down the [Ctrl] key
while clicking on each of the worksheets that you want to group
With either technique, you will see [Group] display in the title bar next to the
workbook name. Now for the easy part, choose File > Page Setup
and pick each of the options that you want for the worksheet layout
including margins, headers and footers, and paper size.
Tip or disaster? Once you are finished with the Page Setup,
make sure that you immediately ungroup the worksheets because anything
else that you do will also be a part of each worksheet including data
entry, editing and formatting. To ungroup the worksheets, just
right-click on any worksheet tab and pick Ungroup Sheets. Confirm
that the [Group] label no longer displays in the title bar.
Simplify your next Excel project with these printing shortcuts.
© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
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