Excel Printing: Top 6 Tips

Mar 11, 2019 | Excel Hints and Tips

If you have had any problems with Excel printing then here are some tips to help.

Repeat Headings

Image of print titles iconIf you print long or wide documents the headings normally only appear on the first page.  By the time you reach the second, third and subsequent pages you have no idea what column contains which specific data particularly if it has numbers or dates which are ambiguous without the heading that describes them.  It’s not so bad with text as it often gives a better indication of the content.

On the Page Layout tab the option of Print Titles allow for rows to be repeated at the top of every printed page or columns to be repeated to the left.

Set Print Area

Image of Print AreaEver printed a spreadsheet and got pages and pages that you didn’t want?  Setting a print area allows only certain parts of the sheet to be printed.  This can be used to prevent loads of blank pages being printed (Excel will print to the last cell that has been altered in any way).  It also allows one table on a sheet to be printed without another or without extra general information.

The option of print area is on the page layout tab and will force only the cells set as a print area to be printed.

Print Selection

Image of Print Selection optionAn alternative to setting a print area is only printing the cells that are selected when printing.  This is a better option if the cells you want to print are not always the same as it is really easy to change.

From the file tab, choose print and change Print Active Sheet(s) to Print Selection.  This selection will need to be made every time you print.

Print Entire Workbook

Image of Print Entire Workbook iconThis is in the same location as Print Selection and will print any information on any of the sheets in the whole workbook.  It is useful if you have information on many sheets.  It saves you having to print each sheet individually.


Image of Scale to Fit optionsScaling provides the opportunity for the whole spreadsheet to be scaled down in proportion if it fits on too many pages.  It is important to be realistic with what will work.  For example, fitting a 20 page file onto 1 page will make it unreadable!

On the Page Layout tab, the Scale to Fit section gives the option of changing the width or the height to a certain number of pages (it doesn’t have to be 1).

Alternatively, when printing, the option of No Scaling can be altered to fit onto 1 page or to fit the columns or the rows only onto 1 page.

Page Breaks

Page breaks don’t always fall in a sensible position within the file and can be altered in Page Break Preview.  Dotted lines show where a page is broken due to running out of space (automatic page break) and solid lines denote a forced page break.  To move a page break hover over either type of line and drag it.

Page Breaks can also be managed from the Breaks icon on the Page Layout tab.  Breaks can be inserted or removed.  This occurs above and to the left of the cell selected.  Also, all the page breaks can be reset to how they were originally.

Want to learn more about Excel then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Excel Courses I run.