How to Modify Print Settings in Excel

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  • 0:02 Printing Excel Spreadsheets
  • 0:48 The Print Preview
  • 3:01 Print Settings & Options
  • 5:09 Wrap Up
  • 5:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Printing from Excel is not always as straight forward as it may seem. This lesson will review the different print settings available to help adjust the layout for printing.

Printing Excel Spreadsheets

You just spent hours on a spreadsheet detailing employee information needed for your meeting this afternoon. Looks great on screen, but when you go to print, well, that's a different story. Half of the spreadsheet is on the first page, and the other half is on the second page. You think to yourself, 'Oh yeah! I need to change the layout to Landscape. It will surely fit then.'

So, you make the changes and no luck - you still have two columns that spill over onto the second page. So, now what? You really want this to fit on one page! This lesson will take a look at Excel print settings. There are several options that will help you to format your hard copy to make sure that the printout looks exactly like you want it.

The Print Preview

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the Print Settings, let's take a look at an important Excel feature that will help guide you from screen to paper. When you click on the File menu in the ribbon, Excel takes you to the Backstage View. The Backstage View is where you manage your files. You can create, save, modify settings, and, of course, print. Click on the Print command to open the Print Option display screen.

The Print Option Display screen is divided into two areas: to the left, we have the Printer and Settings section and on the right, we have the Print Preview section. There are three key elements of the Preview section:

  1. The first one is the Document Display area, which shows a preview of an exact representation of how your workbook will be printed.
  2. Next is the Show Margins icon, located in the lower, right-hand corner of the Preview area. When you click on the Show Margins icon, Excel adds margin handles to the corners of the preview (they are the small black boxes). You can click and hold your mouse on the handles to drag the right, left, top, and bottom margins just where you need them. This is considered a short-cut for your margin adjustment because we can also adjust the margins to more exact measurements in the Settings section.
  3. Next is the Zoom To Page icon. It's located in the lower, right-hand corner, as well (right next to the Show Margins icon). When you click on the Zoom To Page icon, the content displayed in the Print Preview section is magnified, so it's easier to read onscreen, but this does not change how the content will be printed.
  4. The Page Number display is in the lower, left corner of the preview. If your workbook has multiple pages, it will show here. Using the Previous and Next buttons, you can navigate from page to page.

Now, let's move to the other section: Settings.

Print Settings and Options

To the left of the Preview area is your Print Settings. There are several options that you can adjust in order to modify the layout of your workbook. Sometimes, just making a couple small adjustments will get you exactly the printout you want. So, let's review each of the seven options:

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