In Excel page layout is useful for printing Excel spreadsheets correctly. With page layout view Excel lets you preview what you print.
Video: Page LayoutWatch the video (4:02).
Many of the commands you'll use to prepare your workbook for printing and PDF export can be found on the Page Layout tab. These commands let you control the way your content will appear on a printed page, including the page orientation and margin size. Other page layout options, such as print titles and page breaks, can help make your workbook easier to read.
Optional: Download our practice workbook.
Page Layout view
Before you start modifying a workbook's page layout, you may want to view the workbook in Page Layout view, which can help you visualize your changes.
- To access Page Layout view, locate and select the Page Layout view command in the bottom-right corner of your workbook.
Selecting Page Layout view
Excel offers two page orientation options: landscape and portrait. Landscape orients the page horizontally, while portrait orients the page vertically. Portrait is especially helpful for worksheets with a lot of rows, while landscape is best for worksheets with a lot of columns. In the example below, portrait orientation works best because the worksheet includes more rows than columns.
Portrait and Landscape orientation
To change page orientation:
- Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.
- Select the Orientation command, then choose either Portrait or Landscape from the drop-down menu.
Choosing a page orientation
- The page orientation of the workbook will be changed.
To format page margins:
A margin is the space between your content and the edge of the page. By default, every workbook's margins are set to Normal, which is a one-inch space between the content and each edge of the page. Sometimes you may need to adjust the margins to make your data fit more comfortably on the page. Excel includes a variety of predefined margin sizes.
- Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon, then select the Margins command.
- Select the desired margin size from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select Narrow to fit more of our content on the page.
Choosing a pre-defined margin size
- The margins will be changed to the selected size.
To use custom margins:
Excel also allows you to customize the size of your margins in the Page Setup dialog box.
- From the Page Layout tab, click Margins. Select Custom Margins... from the drop-down menu.
Selecting Custom Margins...
- The Page Setup dialog box will appear.
- Adjust the values for each margin, then click OK.
Setting custom page margins
- The margins of the workbook will be changed.
To include Print Titles:
If your worksheet uses title headings, it's important to include these headings on each page of your printed worksheet. It would be difficult to read a printed workbook if the title headings appeared only on the first page. The Print Titles command allows you to select specific rows and columns to appear on each page.
- Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon, then select the Print Titles command.
Clicking the Print Titles command
- The Page Setup dialog box will appear. From here, you can choose rows or columns to repeat on each page. In our example, we'll repeat a row.
- Click the Collapse Dialog button next to the Rows to repeat at top: field.
Clicking the Collapse Dialog Button
- The cursor will become a small selection arrow and the Page Setup dialog box will be collapsed. Select the row(s) you want to repeat at the top of each printed page. In our example, we'll select row 1.
Selecting row 1
- Row 1 will be added to the Rows to repeat at top: field. Click the Collapse Dialog button again.
Clicking the Collapse Dialog button
- The Page Setup dialog box will expand. Click OK. Row 1 will be printed at the top of every page.
To insert a page break:
If you need to print different parts of your workbook across separate pages, you can insert a page break. There are two types of page breaks: vertical and horizontal. Vertical page breaks separate columns, while horizontal page breaks separate rows. In our example, we'll insert a horizontal page break.
- Locate and select the Page Break view command. The worksheet will appear in Page Break view.
Selecting Page Break View
- Select the row below where you want the page break to appear. For example, if you want to insert a page break between rows 28 and 29, select row 29.
Selecting a row
- Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon, select the Breaks command, then click Insert Page Break.
Inserting a page break
- The page break will be inserted, represented by a dark blue line.
The inserted page break
When viewing your workbook in Normal view, inserted page breaks are represented by a solid gray line, while automatic page breaks are represented by a dashed line.
Viewing inserted and automatic page breaks in Normal view
To insert headers and footers:
You can make your workbook easier to read and look more professional by including headers and footers. The header is a section of the workbook that appears in the top margin, while the footer appears in the bottom margin. Headers and footers generally contain information such as page number, date, and workbook name.
- Locate and select the Page Layout view command at the bottom of the Excel window. The worksheet will appear in Page Layout view.
Selecting Page Layout View
- Select the header or footer you want to modify. In our example, we'll modify the footer at the bottom of the page.
Selecting a footer to modify
- The Header & Footer Tools tab will appear on the Ribbon. From here, you can access commands that will automatically include page numbers, dates, and workbook names. In our example, we'll add page numbers.
Adding page numbers from the Header & Footer Tools tab
- The footer will change to include page numbers automatically.
The newly added footer
Excel uses the same tools as Microsoft Word to modify headers and footers. Check out our lesson on Headers, Footers, and Page Numbers from our Word 2013 tutorial to learn more.
- Open an existing Excel workbook. If you want, you can use our practice workbook.
- Change the page orientation to landscape.
- Try modifying the margins of a worksheet.
- Try using the Print Titles command to include a row or column on each page of your workbook. If you are using the example, use the Print Titles command to make row 1 of the Schedule worksheet appear at the top of every page.
- Insert a page break. If you are using the example, insert a page break between rows 19 and 20 on the Schedule worksheet.
- Navigate to Page Layout view and insert a header or footer.