While Excel workbooks can be used entirely
electronically, you may find that you need to print them as well.
It’s important to understand not only how to print, but how to prepare your workbook
for printing. The first thing I would encourage you to do
is to add the Print Preview icon to your Quick Access toolbar if you think you may print
your worksheets. It’s always good to see how something looks
before you print it, and having the Print Preview command on the Quick Access toolbar
will make it a lot easier. In addition to accessing the Print Preview
command from the toolbar, you can also access it by left-clicking the Microsoft Office Button
and selecting Print. From the Print menu, you can choose Print
Preview, which lets you see how the worksheet will appear printed, Quick Print, which prints
one copy to the default printer, or Print, which allows you to set specific print options.
We’ll talk more about this later. Let’s look at our household budget in Print
Preview format. I can just select it from here, or from the
Quick Access toolbar. And now we can see that our view has changed.
The tab at the top indicates that we are in Print Preview.
On the bottom, left side I can see that we’re viewing page 1 of 2.
We can look at our spreadsheet and see that our full title doesn’t appear and that about
half of our columns don’t show up on the page. This means that the rest of the columns June
through December are on page 2. I can view page 2 by clicking the Next Page
command in the Ribbon and here’s the rest of my spreadsheet.
And you can just click the Previous Page command to go back to page 1.
Now, before we leave Print Preview mode, let’s take a look at the other commands.
You have the Print command, which opens the Print dialog box.
You also have the Page Setup command. From here, you can access many of the same
features as you can on the Ribbon such as Orientation, Scaling, and more.
If you’re already in Print Preview, you can make these changes from here, rather than
closing Print Preview and modifying these things from the Ribbon.
You can also use the Zoom command to zoom in and out.
I usually stay zoomed out in Print Preview so I can see what everything looks like.
Finally, you have the Margins feature that you can select and deselect.
I think this is a really great feature in Excel.
Right in Print Preview I can change my margin and column width settings.
For example, let’s say I want to make the Paid column smaller, and the Bill column wider.
I just have to hover over one of the margin markers until the double-arrow appears, and
then left-click and drag the line. The change is made right here in Print Preview
and is reflected in the actual spreadsheet. We can leave Print Preview by clicking the
Close Print Preview icon. You should also become familiar with the Page
Layout tab. From here can customize some of our options
so that the spreadsheet prints the way that we want it to.
We saw in Print Preview that we can modify our margins, and you can do the same thing
by left-clicking the margins command and choosing one of the predefined settings, or by entering
custom margins. You can also change the page orientation.
You may want to do this depending on whether your worksheet has more information left to
right, which might be better suited to the Landscape orientation.
To change the orientation select either Portrait or Landscape.
We are in Portrait mode right now. Portrait orients everything on the page vertically,
while Landscape orients the page horizontally. We’ve already seen how this worksheet will
look printed in portrait format, so let’s try Landscape.
When you select it, you won’t notice anything change in the current view, but if you click
the Print Preview command you’ll see now that 3 extra columns of info appear on this first
page. You may also notice that we’re on Page 1 of
3. When we changed to Landscape, some of the
information on the bottom of our worksheet was cut off and now appears on page 2 and
page 3 has our extra columns. Even with some information on other pages,
the Landscape orientation just makes more sense for this spreadsheet.
I can still tweak the worksheet so all the information appears.
I can do this using the Scale to Fit group. From here I can modify the scale settings
by typing numbers into the field, or using the arrows.
Currently the worksheet is printing at 100%. Since we’re not far from getting everything
to print on one page, let’s decrease that to 75% and see what happens.
You won’t notice a change in the spreadsheet, but when you click Print Preview, that’s when
you’ll be able to tell if all your information will print on one page.
And we can see that it does. Scale to Fit is a great tool if things just
don’t quite fit on a sheet. Keep in mind though that you can scale things
down so much that it’s difficult to read when printed, so be careful! We’re going to leave
our paper size set to the standard 8.5 by 11, but you could change that here if you
wanted to. By default, the print area is the entire worksheet,
but in Excel you can choose to select a different print area.
For example, if I only wanted to print the part of my worksheet that shows my bills January
through April, all I need to do is select the cells I want by left-clicking my mouse
and dragging it over those cells. Now, click the Print Area command, and choose
Set Print Area. If we go up to Print Preview, we can see that
only those cells we selected will be printed. To go back to the default setting, which is
the entire worksheet, just click the Print Area command and then select Clear Print Area.
Another feature that is worth showing is the Breaks command, which allows you to insert
page breaks at various points in the spreadsheet. This gives you control in determining where
you want new pages to start. This is especially important when dealing
with long spreadsheets, it’s quite possible that the page won’t naturally break in a location
that makes sense. To insert a page break, select the cell below
where you want the break to appear. Now, select the Breaks command and select
Insert Break. If you click Print Preview, you’ll be able
to see that a new page begins exactly where you placed the page break.
The last feature I’ll show you before we actually print is the Print Titles command.
I think this is one of the key things you need to know before you print multi-page worksheets
in Excel. It’s a lot easier for me to show you what
this command does than tell you. To see how this works, click the Print Titles
command. The Page Setup dialog box appears.
Now we want to select what rows or columns that we want to appear on every printed page.
I inserted a page break awhile ago so that my fixed and variable expenses would appear
on one page, and everything else would appear on another.
I’d still like the headings that appear in row 7 to appear at the top of page 2, so I’ll
click the icon, select the row in my spreadsheet, click the icon again, and then select OK.
I can go into Page Preview and see now that Bills, Date, Paid, and the months appear at
the top of page 1 and page 2. Once I’m ready to print, I can do so from
here, or from the Microsoft Office Button. I’ll just left-click the button and select
Print and then Print. And the Print dialog box appears.
My default printer appears selected but you can change that if you wish.
You can also click Properties to access a variety of options such as printing in black
and white versus color, single versus double-sided printing, and more.
These things vary from printer to printer so we won’t look at those.
Now, you will need to choose whether you want to print specific pages, or all of the worksheet.
Whether you want to print a selected area, the active sheet, which in this case is Sheet
One, or the entire workbook. We’ve actually only been working with one
sheet right now, but if you had information on these other worksheets, you could print
it all by selecting Workbook. Once you’ve specified how many copies you’d
like to print, just click OK. Whether you’re reviewing data, marking
off a checklist, or distributing handouts, these are all great reasons to start printing
a worksheet or workbook in Excel today!