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Zig or Zag—Which Way?

Friday, November 19th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

Zig or ZagWhich Way?

So, you’ve got this huge worksheet in MS Excel you’re trying to print and it seems that the pages are coming out completely scrambled.

Now what’s wrong with this stubborn machine that’s causing this to happen?


It’s all in the Page Setup choices you make.

What was that I heard you say?

You didn’t make any choices in Page Setup that would cause this chaos?

Well, that could be the problem right there.

With all the other options available in Excel you may not have realized that you can tell it how to print the data.

That is, you can decide if Excel prints down the first page of columns then moves right to the next set of columns—or—if Excel should print across the rows of data then move down to the next set of rows.

Zig or zag?

So, now that you know that you have a choice,let’s find out where and what it all means.

At some point before you print go to the File menu, Page Setup choice.

When the Page Setup window opens go to the Sheet tab.


Now you’re looking for the Page Order section at the bottom.

Here you’ll find two choices: “Down, then over” and “Over, then down”.

Pay attention to the preview picture—when you make a selection the arrow changes directions to let you see the page printing order.

Does it make a difference?

You bet.

By selecting the correct direction your page numbering will be correct and you won’t have to spend time re-sequencing the pages.

“Down, then over” prints in this direction:


This one seems to be good for data for each item is arranged in columns.

The “Over, then down” option prints in this order:


I find that this one works well when my data for each item is arranged in rows.

Whatever your needs, make a selection then click OK.

And voila!

You’re ready to zig… or… zag—whatever fits your data best.

~ April

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