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Set Print Area in MS Excel

Posted By On May 4, 2010 @ 12:29 PM In MS Excel | Comments Disabled


Have you ever noticed that MS Excel automatically tries to print everything on your worksheet?

This works wonderfully for most things we do, but what about the times when you only need part of a worksheet printed? Or, what do you do when you have a large worksheet containing many calculations that feed to one particular section of the sheet and you only want to print that small section? (Yes, I’m aware that you could have set up the workbook so that the part to be printed was on a separate worksheet, but what if it’s not?) We all know it can be a huge pain to move everything, so what can you do now?

Well, your solution to the dilemma is to set the Print Area.

Print area?

Yes, the Print Area.

Basically, it’s a specific area in a worksheet to be printed, ignoring everything else on the sheet.

So, how do we actually set the print area?

It’s as easy as 1, 2 and well, we really don’t need 3. So, how about 1 and 2?!

1. Highlight the cells to be printed.

2. Depending on your version of Excel you’ll set the print area

- Older version of Excel: Go to the File menu, Print Area and select Set Print Area from the submenu.

– Excel 2007:
Go to the Page Layout tab of the Ribbon, Print Area button, Set Print Area choice.

That’s it. You’re done.

Now, when you print, you’ll get only the information in the cells that you selected.

(A quick note here: I did try using the Ctrl key to select separate sections for the print area. What I found was that Excel printed each section on a separate sheet of paper).

Okay, so now that you know how to print just part of a worksheet, let’s say you used this little trick to print part of a worksheet and now you need to print the entire thing. How do we get it all back?

It’s easy enough. You don’t even have to highlight the cells!

Basically we’ll retrace our steps and this time choose to clear the print area.

- Older version of Excel: Go to the File menu, Print Area and select Clear Print Area from the submenu.

– Excel 2007:
Go to the Page Layout tab of the Ribbon, Print Area button, Clear Print Area choice.

Poof! Back to where you started.

If only all things in life came with such short instructions!

~April

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