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Excel: Double-Sided Workbooks  

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Excel: Printing a Workbook Double-Sided

For any version of Microsoft Excel including Excel 2010, Excel 2007, and Excel 2003

The Problem with Workbook Printing

Question: We have a large workbook with separate worksheets for each page of a report. When we have tried printing the entire workbook with a duplex printing choice, we only get each worksheet on a separate page. How can we print the entire workbook double-sided so we don't have such a huge printout?

The Solution for Printing an Excel Workbook Double-Sided

Duplex printing works for individual worksheets. Microsoft Excel also supports printing an entire workbook or even selected, active worksheets except if you want to print each sheet back-to-back with double-sided or duplex printing. Although it is not straightforward, there is a workaround so you can get the printing results you want. In brief, you can set up each worksheet for duplex printing first and then print the worksheets as a group.

Answer: Here's how to get multiple worksheets in one workbook printed with true double-sided printing (to prevent each worksheet from starting a new page):

Set up the Printer First

  1. Move to each worksheet you are going to print.
  2. Go to the Print area or dialog box. In Excel 2010, for example, choose File > Print > Print. Or even easier, for any version, press the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + P.
    You aren't actually going to print at this time, but you need to set each of the worksheets to the double-sided option.
  3. Excel 2007 and earlier: From the Print dialog box, choose Properties to change the duplex or double-sided option. OK back to the Print dialog box.
    Excel 2010: The double-sided output option is directly available in the updated print area.
  4. Next, choose Close instead of OK to close the print area.

You have now reset that individual worksheet to double-sided printing. Repeat these steps for each of the other worksheets you want to print from the workbook.

Selecting the Worksheets

  1. When you are ready to print, click on the first tab of the worksheet you want to print. Then, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click on each of the other worksheet tabs you want to print. Each tab will change to white as you select them to show you which ones you have selected.
    If you want to print the entire workbook, you don't need to pick each worksheet. Instead, right-click on any of the worksheet tabs and then left-click on Select All Sheets.
  2. Right now, you will also see the label [Group] to the right of the workbook name in the title bar. Caution: When you have multiple worksheets selected, any changes you make to the page setup, worksheet content, formatting, etc. will apply to all selected worksheets. Learn more about grouping Excel worksheets.
  3. This time you want to print out the workbook. Bring up the Print area or dialog box. Remember that handy shortcut [Ctrl] + P. For Print What choose Active Sheet(s).
  4. Verify the printer properties are still set at duplex or double-sided and then send to print. Hopefully, you will now have a true double-sided printout of the worksheets in your workbook.
  5. Important: Once you are happy with the printout, unselect the grouped worksheets. The easiest way is to either click on an unselected sheet or right-click on a worksheet tab to pick Ungroup Sheets. Check the title bar to make sure you no longer see the [Group] indicator.

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Hot Tip
Press [Ctrl] + P in Microsoft Excel to quickly move to the Print dialog box or area.
 
Did You Know?
Microsoft Excel 2010 includes a remodeled and combined Print and Print Preview area.

 
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