Prepare a worksheet for printing

Your worksheet looks fine on the screen, so you are now ready to print — right? Not necessarily. You could save time and paper by adjusting the format and page layout of your worksheet, or by taking measures to avoid common printing problems before you print your worksheet.

In this article


Making a worksheet easy to read or scan

To present all of your data on the printed pages, make sure that the data is visible on the screen. For example, if text or numbers are too wide to fit in a column, the printed text will be truncated and the printed numbers will appear as number signs (##). To avoid printing truncated text and number signs in place of text, you can increase the column width to accommodate the data, or you may want to increase the row height by wrapping the text to fit the column width, to make the text visible on the screen and on the printed pages.


List formatted for on-screen viewing

1  Column sizing

2  Row sizing


To make your data easy to read or scan, you may want to apply different formatting to help draw attention to important information. However, keep in mind that some formatting (such as colored text or cell shading) that looks good on the screen may not produce the printed results that you expect when you print on a black-and-white printer. If you use colored text or cell shading, be sure to use colors that contrast well for printing on a black-and-white printer.

You may also want to print a worksheet with gridlines displayed so that the data, rows, and columns stand out better.

For more information, see:

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Fine-tuning the layout of printed pages

Before you print a worksheet that contains large quantities of data or charts, you can quickly fine-tune the worksheet in the new Page Layout view to achieve professional-looking results. In this view, you can see your data in the context of printed pages. You can easily add or change page headers and footers, hide or display row and column headers, change the page orientation of printed pages, change the layout and format of data, use the rulers to measure the width and height of the data, and set margins for printing.

Adding useful information in headers or footers

You may want to add a header and footer that contain useful information about the printed worksheet, such as a worksheet title, a logo, file information, or page number. Headers and footers that you specify automatically appear on every printed page. You cannot print headers or footers on the first page only, but you can print different headers and footers on the first page as well as on odd and even pages.


Worksheet with header and footer

1  Header

2  Footer


Printing row and column headings or labels on every page

If a worksheet spans more than one page, you can print row and column headings or labels (also called print titles) on every page to ensure that the data is properly labeled.


Worksheet with print titles

1  Column labels


Changing the page orientation of the worksheet

You can adjust the column width and wrap text to fit more columns on the printed page. However, if the worksheet has many more columns than will fit horizontally when you use the default portrait orientation, you can print the data to accommodate additional columns (but fewer rows) by using landscape orientation.

Adjusting the placement, fit, and margins of the worksheet

For a better layout, you may want to center a worksheet horizontally or vertically on the printed page. In Page Layout view, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 provides a horizontal ruler and a vertical ruler, so that you can take precise measurements of cells, ranges, objects, and page margins. Rulers can help you to position objects and to view or to edit page margins directly on the worksheet.

To fit a few more columns on the printed page, you can adjust the width of margins or columns. If your data is too wide for one page, you can adjust vertical page breaks.

If the data is just a bit too large to fit on a printed page, you can scale the worksheet to make it fit. Scaling reduces the horizontal and vertical size of the printed data by a percentage or by the number of pages that you specify.

If some columns contain data that you don't need to print, you can temporarily hide the columns. Hidden data will not be printed.

You can also use Page Layout view to position and resize charts so that they appear exactly where you want them to appear on the printed pages.

For more information, see:

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Fixing awkward page breaks

Your worksheet data may be too wide or too long to fit on one page, or perhaps you want to keep specific data together on the same page. You can use Page Break Preview view to quickly adjust the vertical and horizontal page breaks (page break: Divider that breaks a worksheet into separate pages for printing. Excel inserts automatic page breaks based on the paper size, margin settings, scaling options, and the positions of any manual page breaks that you insert.). In this view, page breaks that are manually inserted appear as solid lines. Dashed lines indicate where Office Excel 2007 will break pages automatically.


Page break preview

1  Automatic page breaks

2  Manual page breaks


Page Break Preview view is especially useful for seeing how other changes that you make (such as formatting changes and page orientation) affect the automatic page breaks. For example, changing the row height and column width can affect the placement of the automatic page breaks. You can also make changes to the page breaks that are affected by the margin settings of the current printer driver.

For more information, see Add, delete, or move page breaks.

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Previewing a worksheet before you print it

For an exact preview of how the data will be printed, you may want to preview the worksheet pages in Print Preview view. In this view, you can make any final adjustments to the pages before you print.

For more information, see Preview worksheet pages before printing.

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Printing all or part of a worksheet

You are finally ready to print your data. When you click Print (Microsoft Office Button Button image ), you can specify exactly what you want to print. You can print all of the worksheets in your workbook, print one or more selected worksheets, or print only a selected portion of the worksheet.

If you plan to print a specific portion of a worksheet frequently, you can define it as a print area (Page Layout tab, Page Setup group). That way, every time that you print the worksheet, Excel prints only the data that is specified in the print area.

For more information, see Print a worksheet or workbook.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007