Free Excel Tutorial for Engineers : Printing Excel Sheet

Printing in excel is different than printing in any other programs. Excel provides us with various options to print that help to improve the readability and presentation of our hardcopies. This chapter deals with the various print options in excel. The page layout ribbon allows you to fine tune large spreadsheets while printing. The page layout provides you with different options like setting margins, setting the orientation of the page, inserting page breaks, changing the page background and so on. The following section explains some of the important page layout options.


Page Margins: The page margins option in the page setup group allows you to change the page margins to fit the required number of cells in a page while printing. The Normal margin settings that Excel applies to a new workbook use top and bottom margins of 0.75 inches and left and right margins of 0.7 inches. Excel provides you with some standard margin options like narrow and wide. You can also use the custom margins option to set margins as per your requirement. The page margins can also be changed by dragging the margins in the print preview.


Page Orientation: The page orientation is set to portrait by default when you open an excel worksheet. Since many worksheets contain more columns than rows you won’t be able to fit the required number of cells while printing the data. To fix this problem we can simply change the orientation of the page to landscape from the drop down menu of the orientation option, which allows the printing to run parallel to the long edge of the paper, accommodating more number of columns to be printed


Scaling Option: Even after changing the page margins and page orientation if the data still doesn’t fit into the required number of pages we can use the scale to fit options. The ‘adjust to’ option reduces or enlarges the printed worksheet by specifying a scaling factor. You can reduce the worksheet to 10 percent of normal size or enlarge it to 400 percent of normal size. This will help you to use as much space as possible on the sheet and also reduce the number of pages required for printing


Page Break: Excel automatically sets page breaks while printing based on the page margins and orientation. You can also set page breaks both horizontally and vertically. To insert a page break simply select the cell before which you want to insert the page break, go to the breaks option and select the ‘insert page break’ option from the drop down menu. You can also insert horizontal and vertical page breaks individually by selecting the row or column after the cells where you want to insert the page break. You can also remove a page break in a similar way.


Print Area: Excel also allows you to print only a selected set of cells. By using this option you can print only a set of selected cells from a large worksheet. To set the print area select the required cells, go to the print area option and select the ‘set print area’ option. If you select another set of cells and select the ‘add to print area’ option then excel will print this data on the next sheet. You can also remove the selection by selecting the ‘clear print area option.


Print Titles: The Print Titles option allows you to print particular rows and columns on each page of the report. This option allows you to print the column and row headings as reference on each of the printed page and thus increases the understandability of multipage reports. To set the headings, select the print titles option, go to the rows to repeat tab and select the required rows from your excel worksheet. You can select the columns in a similar way. The selected rows and columns will be repeated in each page while printing.


Header / Footer: A header or footer is mostly used as an identifier while printing a document. Excel therefore provides us with some standard headers and footers like page numbers, dates, name of the person, etc. you can also make custom headers or footers from the options provided like inserting a picture. To insert a header or footer go to the insert tab and click on the header & footer option. This automatically opens the design tab which allows you to customize the header or footer according to your requirement. Excel also allows you to have a separate header and footer for the first page and different headers and footers for even and odd pages.