Modifying Page Setup Properties in Excel

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  • 0:01 Page Layout / Page Setup
  • 1:08 Margins
  • 3:05 Orientation
  • 3:50 Print Title
  • 5:45 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Karen Sorensen

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

When you need to change the orientation, modify the page size, adjust margins or add title rows to printed pages, the Page Setup grouping of commands is the place to get it done. This lesson will guide you through modifying your page setup options.

Page Layout / Page Setup

Before you print your Excel workbook, you might want to prepare the document for the printed page, especially if you have a large amount of data and/or charts. You will find everything you need to tweak and prepare your workbook for printing in the Page Layout menu, under the Page Setup grouping of commands.

The page setup group has seven different commands. Let's quickly review your options:

  1. Adjust the margins
  2. Change the orientation
  3. Change the page size
  4. Select the print area
  5. Add a page break
  6. Insert an image as the background
  7. Print titles

Page setup options allow you to modify the layout of the spreadsheet for the printed document and can help make your workbook easier to read. This lesson will review the three most commonly used options: margins, orientation and print titles.


Let's start with the margins. Frequently, you find yourself with a spreadsheet that takes up a full printed page and then just enough to spill over onto a second, mostly empty page. Excel offers two ways to adjust the margins. One option is to use the standard pre-built margin settings: normal, wide and narrow. The margins for each one are as follows:

  • Normal: The top and bottom margins are at 0.75 inches. Left and right are at 0.70 inches. Header and footer is at 0.30 inches.
  • Wide: Top and bottom margins are at 1.00 inch. Left and right are at 1.00 inch. Header and footer is at 0.50 inches.
  • Narrow: Top and bottom margins are at 0.75 inches. Left and right are at 0.25 inches. Header and footer is at 0.30 inches.

To change your margins using any of these pre-existing selections, simply click on the option, and Excel will make the changes.

The second option is to customize your margins to the exact desired dimensions. In our case, we need the margins to be smaller. Imagine that the Excel standard option for narrow is not narrow enough. We can customize the margins and enter exact numbers.

To accomplish this, click on the margins command and select 'custom margins' at the bottom of the options list. The 'page setup' dialogue box opens, and here you can modify the top and bottom, left and right and header and footer dimensions. To change the margins, you can enter the numbers directly or use the up/down arrows to adjust the settings.


Next, is the orientation command. Page orientation is the way a page is oriented for normal viewing or printing. You can display your document landscape, meaning wider than it is tall, or you can display your document portrait, meaning taller than it is wide. This option is especially helpful when printing spreadsheets. Most spreadsheets seem to be wider, unlike Microsoft Word, where most everything is printed in portrait.

There are only the two options, so this makes the command rather easy to use. Click on the orientation command, choose portrait or landscape, and Excel will do the rest.

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