Printing

Printing in Excel can sometimes be complicated. Learn about Excel printing, including setting the right print area, in this lesson.

Introduction

Lesson 8

There are many choices you can make when printing an Excel workbook. You can choose what parts of a workbook to print and how the data fits on the page.

In this lesson, you will learn how to print worksheets, workbooks, and selections of cells. You will also learn how to prepare for printing by modifying page orientation, scale, margins, print titles, and page breaks.

Printing

Video: Printing in Excel 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (4:55).

In previous versions of Excel, there was a Print Preview option that allowed you to preview and modify a workbook before printing. You may have noticed that this feature seems to be gone in Excel 2010. It actually has not disappeared; it has just been combined with the Print window to create the Print pane, which is located in Backstage view.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To view the Print pane:

  1. Click the File tab. This takes you to Backstage view.
  2. Select Print. The Print pane appears, with the print settings on the left and Print Preview on the right.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the Print pane.

labeled graphic

Show Margins/Zoom to Page

The Zoom to Page button is on the right. Click it to zoom in and out in the Preview pane.

The Show Margins button is to the left of the Zoom to Page button. Click it to adjust the margins of your workbook.

Page

Click the arrows to view a different page in the Print Preview area.

Print Preview

This allows you to see how your worksheets will look when printed.

Scaling

Choose how to scale your worksheets for the printed page. You can scale worksheets at their actual size, to fit all on one page, to fit all the columns on one page, or to fit all the rows on one page.

Margins

You can adjust the margins here. This is useful if parts of your worksheets are being cut off by the printer.

Paper Size

Choose the paper size you want your printer to use.

Orientation

Here, you can choose portrait or landscape orientation.

Collated/Uncollated

If you are printing multiple copies, choose whether you want the copies collated or uncollated.

One Side/Both Sides

Choose whether to print on one side or both sides of the paper.

Print Range

Choose whether to print the active sheets, entire workbook, or a selection of cells.

Printer

You may need to select the printer you want to use if your computer is connected to multiple printers.

Print Button

Click the Print button when you are ready to print.

To print active sheets:

If you have multiple worksheets in your workbook, you'll need to decide if you want to print the entire workbook or specific worksheets. Excel gives you the option to Print Active Sheets. A worksheet is considered active if it is selected.

  1. Select the worksheets you want to print. To print multiple worksheets, click the first worksheet, hold down the Ctrl key, then click the other worksheets you want to select.
    Selecting worksheets to print Selecting worksheets to print
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  4. Select Print Active Sheets from the print range drop-down menu.
    Selecting the Print Active Sheets command Selecting the Print Active Sheets command
  5. Click the Print button.

To print the entire workbook:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  3. Select Print Entire Workbook from the print range drop-down menu.
    Selecting the Print Entire Workbook command Selecting the Print Entire Workbook command
  4. Click the Print button.

To print a selection or set the print area:

Printing a selection—sometimes called setting the print area—lets you choose which cells to print, as opposed to the entire worksheet.

  1. Select the cells you want to print.
    Selected cells to print Selected cells to print
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  4. Select Print Selection from the print range drop-down menu.
    Selecting the Print Selection command Selecting the Print Selection command
  5. You can see what your selection will look like on the page in Print Preview.
    Print Preview Print Preview
  6. Click the Print button.

You don't have to wait until you're ready to print to set the print area. You can also set it from the Page Layout tab in advance. This will place a dotted line around your selection so you can see which cells are going to print while you work. To do this, select the cells you want to print, go to the Page Layout tab, and choose Print Area.

To change page orientation:

Change the page orientation to portrait to orient the page vertically and landscape to orient the page horizontally. Portrait is useful for worksheets needing to fit more rows on one page, while landscape is useful for worksheets needing to fit more columns on one page.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  3. Select either Portrait Orientation or Landscape Orientation from the orientation drop-down menu.
    Orientation drop-down menu Orientation drop-down menu
  4. Your page orientation is changed.
    Portrait Orientation Portrait Orientation in Print Preview
    Landscape Orientation Landscape Orientation in Print Preview

To fit a worksheet on one page:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  3. Select Fit Sheet on One Page from the scaling drop-down menu.
    Selecting the Fit Sheet on One Page command Selecting the Fit Sheet on One Page command
  4. Your worksheet is reduced in size until it fits on one page. Remember that if it is scaled too small, it might be difficult to read.

To modify margins while in Print Preview:

The margins of your worksheet may need to be adjusted to make data fit more comfortably on the printed page. You can adjust the margins in Print Preview.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Print to access the Print pane.
  3. Click the Show Margins button. Your margins will appear.
  4. Hover your mouse over one of the margin markers until the double arrow appears.
  5. Click and drag the margin to your desired location.
  6. Release the mouse. The margin is modified.
    Modifying margins while in Print Preview Modifying margins while in Print Preview

To use print titles:

Imagine how difficult it would be to read a worksheet if the column and row headings only appeared on the first page. The Print Titles command allows you to select specific rows and columns to appear on each page.

  1. Click the Page Layout tab.
  2. Select the Print Titles command.
    Selecting the Print Titles command Selecting the Print Titles command
  3. The Page Setup dialog box appears. Click the icon at the end of the Rows to repeat at top field.
    Clicking on icon Clicking on icon
  4. Your mouse becomes the small selection arrow . Click the rows you want to appear on each printed page. The Rows to repeat at top dialog box will record your selection.
    Clicking on row 1 Clicking on row 1
  5. Click the icon at the end of the Rows to repeat at top field.
    Clicking on icon Clicking on icon
  6. Repeat for Columns to repeat at left, if necessary.
  7. Click OK. You can go to Print Preview to see how each page will look when printed.

To insert a break:

  1. Click the Page Layout tab.
  2. Determine the placement of the break by clicking the row below, cell below, or column to the right of where you want the break to appear. For example, select column C, and a break will appear after column B.
    Selecting the column to the right of where the break will appear Selecting the column to the right of where the break will appear
  3. Select the Insert Page Break command from the Breaks drop-down menu.
    Selecting the Insert Page Break command Selecting the Insert Page Break command
  4. The break is inserted. You can go to Print Preview to confirm that it appears in the correct place on the page.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Excel 2010 workbook. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Try printing two active worksheets. If you are using the example, try printing the worksheets labeled 2009 and 2010.
  3. Try printing only a selection of cells.
  4. Change the page orientation to landscape.
  5. Try fitting a large worksheet on one page.
  6. Try modifying the margins of a worksheet in Print Preview.
  7. If you are using the example, use the Print Titles command to make row 1 and column A appear on every page.
  8. Create a page break so only columns A and B appear on one page.