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How to Set the Print Area in Excel – Plus Useful Tips!

You just completed your Excel worksheet and you are ready to print. So, you hit the Print... read more

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John Michaloudis
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Overview

How to Set the Print Area in Excel - Plus Useful Tips! | MyExcelOnline How to Set the Print Area in Excel - Plus Useful Tips! | MyExcelOnline

You just completed your Excel worksheet and you are ready to print. So, you hit the Print button, only to find the entirety of the sheet is printed by default. What if you wanted to control which section of your worksheet gets printed? This is where setting the print area comes in handy. In this article, we’ll learn how to set the print area in Excel:

Let us look at each of these methods.

Download the Excel Workbook below to follow along and understand How to Set the Print Area in Excel –
download excel  workbook Print-Area-in-Excel.xlsx

 

Why Set a Print Area?

Setting the print area in Excel allows you to customize exactly which part of your spreadsheet you want to print. This can be particularly useful when you want to print a dataset that spans over multiple columns and rows. If a print area is not determined, the final print output will include lots of unnecessary data and blank parts. Additionally, setting a print area will allow you to adjust the printouts’ margins, orientation, and scale. Ultimately, allowing the reader of the printouts to easily access easy-to-read information.

Step-by-step Guide

Click and hold the left mouse button to highlight the range of cells that you want to include in your print area.

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Print Area in Excel

Go to the Page Layout tab. Click on the Print Area and a drop-down menu will appear.

Choose the Set Print Area option.

Print Area in Excel

While still in the Page Layout tab, you can customize your print settings using Margins, Orientation, and Size.

Print Area in Excel

In our case, we will adjust the orientation to Landscape.

To confirm that you have successfully added cells to the print area, click on the File tab, select Print, and preview how your spreadsheet will look when printed.

Print Area in Excel

Once you are satisfied with the print area and settings, click the Print button to send your document to the printer.

Add Cells to an Existing Print Area

Follow these steps if you want to expand the existing print area by adding cells:

Note: You can only add adjacent cells to an existing print area. Meaning if you wanted to extend the print area, you can only do so by selecting the rows next to the last row of the current selected print area.

Select the additional cells by clicking and holding the left mouse button to highlight the range of cells that you want to include.

Print Area in Excel

Go to the Page Layout tab and select the Print Area menu. From there, you should see an option that says Add to Print Area. Click on it.

Print Area in Excel

To confirm that you have successfully added cells to the print area, click on the File tab, select Print, and preview how your spreadsheet will look when printed.

Print Area in Excel

As you can see, the preview will show the expanded print area.

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Once you are satisfied with the updated print area and settings, click the Print button to send your document to the printer.

Set Columns or Rows to Repeat

Suppose you wanted the names column to be included in page 1 and page 2. As of right now, the names column is not present in page 2, which may lead to some confusion when looking at page 2 exclusively.

Print Area in Excel Print Area in Excel

Go to the Page Layout tab. Click on Print Titles.

Print Area in Excel

You will see options for Rows to repeat at top and Columns to repeat at left. This time, we will choose Columns to repeat at left option.

Print Area in Excel

Select column A, then click OK.

Print Area in Excel

Print Area in Excel

To confirm that you have successfully repeated the names column to the print area, click on the File tab, select Print, and preview how your spreadsheet will look when printed.

Print Area in ExcelPrint Area in Excel

As you can see, the preview will show the repeated names column on the left.

Once you are satisfied with the updated print area and settings, click the Print button to send your document to the printer.

Add Multiple Print Areas

If you have other data on the same sheet that you wish to print separately, you can add multiple print areas.

Click and hold the left mouse button to highlight the range of cells that you want to include in your print area.

Print Area in Excel

Hold down the Ctrl key and highlight as many groups of cells that you want to make into print areas. Using the Ctrl key enables you to highlight different areas without losing the initial range.

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Print Area in Excel

Once you highlight your selected areas, click on the File tab, select Print, and preview how your spreadsheet will look when printed.

Print Area in Excel

Print Area in Excel

As you can see, the preview will show the multiple print areas. Each area will print on different pages.

Using the Page Break

If you have a large dataset and you don’t want information to overflow to other pages, it would be best to use the Page break feature. Page break allows you to display different parts of your data on separate pages.

Suppose you wanted to divide the dataset into two parts. The first part being the students on the red and yellow category (rows 2 to 18). And the next part being the students on the blue and green category (rows 19 to 34). Follow these steps:

Go to the Page Layout tab and click on Print Titles.

Print Area in Excel

For the Rows to repeat at the top, enter in $1:$1, or simply click on row 1. We want this row to be present in all of the printed pages to represent the months and the point totals.

Print Area in Excel

For the Columns to repeat at left, enter in $A:$A, or click on column A. Then click OK.

Print Area in Excel

Now, click on any cell in row 19. This is because we want a new page to start from row 19.

Print Area in Excel

Once again, go to the Page Layout tab, and click on Breaks. Choose Insert Page Break.

Print Area in Excel

You will see a line in between rows 18 and 19. This is the Page Break indicator.

Print Area in Excel

Note: Follow the same steps for vertical breaks. The only difference is you have to click on a column, instead of a row.

Once you have selected your page break, click on the File tab, select Print, and preview how your spreadsheet will look when printed.

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Print Area in Excel

Print Area in Excel

As you can see, the preview will show the page break in between rows 18 and 19.

Additional Tips

Clearing Print Area: If you want to remove the set print area, go to the Page Layout tab, click on Print Area, and select Clear Print Area.

Print Area in Excel

Include Grid Lines in Printouts: If you want to include the grid lines in your printed copy, go to the Page Layout tab and tick the box for Print under Gridlines.

Print Area in Excel

Print Area in Excel

As you can see, the print preview will show the gridlines.

Conclusion
There you have it! By following these steps, you can efficiently set the print area in Excel, without printing the unnecessary information, at the same time making your printed documents more organized and professional.

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How to Set the Print Area in Excel - Plus Useful Tips! | MyExcelOnline How to Set the Print Area in Excel - Plus Useful Tips! | MyExcelOnline
Founder & Chief Inspirational Officer at MyExcelOnline.com

John Michaloudis is a former accountant and finance analyst at General Electric, a Microsoft MVP since 2020, an Amazon #1 bestselling author of 4 Microsoft Excel books and teacher of Microsoft Excel & Office over at his flagship Academy Online Course.

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