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Quick Slide Margins – Part 2 – MS Excel

Posted By On November 23, 2004 @ 1:27 PM In MS Excel | Comments Disabled

Quick Slide Margins – Part 2 – MS Excel

As a follow-up to the last issue, I thought it might be relevant to discuss quick margin adjustments in MS Excel.

As with Word, you can set margins in the Page Setup (under the File menu) on the Margins tab.

Works well—but, as you may already know, in Excel you have to go to the Print Preview to take a look at how things are “shaping up”.

So, let’s see… you’re going to the File menu, Page Setup choice, Margins tab. Then you’re making the necessary adjustments. You could then click the Print Preview button from within the Page Setup window to see the effect of your changes.

Don’t like them?

Ok, so now you need to get back to the Margins tab to “fine tune” the situation. This means clicking the Setup button in the Print Preview window to return to your Margins tab, make adjustments again, then clicking on the Print Preview button. Or… I’ve actually watched people exit Print Preview and start all over again with the File menu!

Any way you look at it, it’s a lot of moving around between different windows and tabs.

Click, click, click…

(You get the picture.)

Where can we seek relief for our aching index (click) fingers?

Well, a little vapor rub on the knuckle might help, but actually, relief is found right where we came from. It’s in the Print Preview.

When you were searching for the Setup button did you happen to take a look at the button to its immediate right?

No?

Boy, when you find out what it does you’re going to wish you had!

That little-noticed button reads “Margins“.

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That’s right, there’s a button in the Print Preview dedicated entirely to the adjustment of margins and once you’ve clicked it all your fine tuning can be done right there in the Print Preview window.

So let’s give this a try.

Click the Margins button.

Did you see all the dotted lined “pop up” over your document preview?

These lines represent your document’s current margin settings.

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Run your mouse slowly over a line until it becomes a double arrow. Then click and hold on the line. At this point you’ve “grabbed” the margin and can drag it up / down / left / right to meet your needs.

You may have noticed that a few things appear to be amiss. First off, you’ve probably decided that you seem to have too many lines on top and bottom. You don’t—but it appears that way.

Another item that may concern you is that the preview appears to have no measurements for the margins—you need those to make them balanced, don’t you?

And finally, you may be wondering what the little marks are across the top.

All good points to bring up—so let’s get to the explanations.

To begin, let’s clear up the “too many lines” issue.

The reason you have two lines at both the top and bottom is because they each mark a different margin. Never forget that worksheets can have headers and footers—and those sections need margins too. The topmost line is for the headers, the top of the header to be exact.

The line at the very bottom of the page marks the lowest margin of the footer.

Next on the agenda is the problem of handling margin measurements.

On first glance, it does appear that there’s no way to know the margin width / height while dragging, but look again.

Specifically, look in the bottom left corner of the window while you are still holding the left mouse button during the margin drag.

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See it?

“There it is!” (As my nephew likes to say in his little sing-song way when he finds his favorite toy.)

In the corner, while dragging a margin, you can see its width / height—and for a little “bonus” they also list which margin you’re dragging.

Two problems down, one to go.

The last issue dealt with the little marks across the top of the page.

image

These represent the right boundary of each column on the page.

What was that I heard you ask?

Can you move these column markers? If we could, wouldn’t that speed up the process of tweaking page layout?

Why yes you can—and yes it can help you with quick layout adjustments—glad you asked.

You can adjust the width of a column with the old click, hold, drag—you know the routine.

In addition, you might want to note the left bottom corner of the window again. The column width is displayed—just in case you need it.

Hmmm… that Print Preview thing has turning out to be more useful than we originally thought. (Yeah—if only we could get a few of those kitchen gadgets that are supposed to be so wonderful to work out this well.)

~ April


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