How to Format Excel to Print (13 Simple Tips)

We’ll use a dataset containing some names of fruits as Product and their Sales value of 4 months (January to April) to demonstrate how you can format Excel to print.

Format Excel to Print


1. Formatting Page Orientation

When preparing your Excel sheet for printing, consider the page orientation. Follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on the Page Setup button.

Formatting Orientation to Format Excel to Print

  • In the Page Setup dialog, choose your preferred orientation (Portrait or Landscape).
  • Preview the printed version using Print Preview.

Opening Page Setup Box to Format Excel to Print

  • Click OK to confirm.


2. Selecting Paper Size

To set the paper size for printing, follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup dialog (as described in Method 1).
  • Select your desired paper size (e.g., A4).
  • Click OK.

Selecting Paper Size to Format Excel to Print


3. Choosing a Printer

Before printing, select the appropriate printer:

Steps:

  • Go to the File tab.

Choosing Printer to Format Excel to Print in Excel

  • Choose Print.
  • Select your preferred printer (e.g., Microsoft Print to PDF).


4. Defining the Print Area

Specify which part of your worksheet to print:

Steps:

  • Go to the File tab.

Selecting Print Area to Format Excel to Print

  • Choose the Print option.
  • Decide whether to print active sheets or the entire workbook.

  • Optionally, select a specific range (e.g., B2:F12).
  • Go to the Page Layout tab and click Print Area, then choose Set Print Area.

  • The output will look like the image below.


5. Formatting Print Titles

Ensure consistent headings on every printed page:

Steps:

  • Access the Page Layout tab.
  • Click Print Titles.

Formatting Print Titles to Format Excel to Print

  • In the Page Setup dialog, go to the Sheet tab.
  • Specify the following:
    • Print Area: Select the entire data range (e.g., B2:F12).
    • Rows to repeat at the top: Choose the heading row(s) you want on every page (e.g., Row 4).
    • Columns to repeat at the left: If needed, select specific columns.
  • Click OK.

  • Now, when you print your data, the heading row and left column will appear consistently on each page.


6. Selecting Page Order

When dealing with a large number of pages to print, the Page Order option becomes handy. You can specify the order in which pages should be printed. Follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box as described in Method1.
  • Go to the Sheet tab.
  • Choose one of the following options:
    • Down, then over: Print pages in vertical order.
    • Over, then down: Print pages in horizontal order.
  • Click OK to confirm your selection.

Selecting Page Order to Format Excel to Print


7. Printing Comments

Print comments in excel can be tricky. Instead of printing them alongside the data, consider placing them at the end of the sheet. Here’s how:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box (as described in Method 1).
  • Go to the Sheet tab.
  • In the Print section, select At the end of the sheet using the comment dropdown.
  • Click OK.

Printing Comments to Format Excel to Print

  • Now, all comments will appear neatly at the end of the sheet.


8. Using “Fit to” Scaling

When your data doesn’t fit neatly on a single page, use the “Fit to” option to adjust it. Follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box as described in Method1.
  • Under Scaling, choose one of the following:
    • Adjust using a percentage of normal size.
    • Specify the number of pages (e.g., 1 page wide).

Using “Fit to” from Scaling to Format Excel to Print

  • Click OK.

  • Preview the adjusted layout.

Remember that there are limits to how much data you can fit on a single page using this method.


9.Custom Header/Footer

Customize your header and footer with additional information beyond page numbers. Here’s how:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box (as described in Method1).
  • Go to the Header/Footer tab.
  • Click the Custom Header/ Footer button.

Using Custom Header/Footer to Format Excel to Print

  • Choose alignment options.
  • Available options include:
    • Page Number
    • Page Number with total pages.
    • Date
    • Time
    • File Path
    • File Name
    • Sheet Name
    • Image

  • Insert the text “How to Format Excel to Print” in the Center section.
  • Click OK.

  • Configure the footer similarly.

  • Click OK.

  • Preview the printed page using Print Preview.

  • Now your header and footer will enhance the professional appearance of your printed Excel sheets.

  • Click OK.


10. Centering Data

This option is useful when you have limited data to print on a single page. Let’s say you want to print data from cell range B2:D12. You can align this data in the center of the page for a neat presentation. Follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box (as described in Method1).
  • Go to the Margins tab.
  • Under Center on Page, you have two options:
    • Horizontally: Aligns your data in the center horizontally.
    • Vertically: Aligns your data in the middle of the page vertically.
  • Enable both options.
  • Finally, click OK.

Centering Data on Page to Format Excel to Print

  • Now your page will look similar to the image below. You can use this option whenever you print pages to ensure proper data alignment.

How to Format Excel to Print Using Center on Page Feature


11. Using Custom Margins

Custom margins allow you to adjust the spacing around your content. Here’s how:

Steps:

  • Go to the File tab.

Using Custom Margins to Format Excel Spreadsheet to Print

  • Select Print to view the instant print preview.
  • From the bottom-right corner of the window, click on the Show Margins button.
  • The applied margins will be displayed.

  • Adjust them by dragging and dropping.


12. Changing Cell Error Values

Sometimes, you encounter error values (like #DIV/0!) in your dataset. To replace these errors while printing, follow these steps:

Changing Cell Error Values to Format Excel to Print

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box (as described in Method1).
  • Go to the Sheet tab.
  • In the Cell error as dropdown, choose a replacement value:
    • Blank
    • Double minus sign.
    • #N/A Error (for all the errors)
  • Here, I recommend selecting <blank> as the replacement value.
  • Click OK.

  • Now, when you print your data, the error values will be replaced with the chosen replacement value.


13. Customizing Number Format for Page Number in Excel to Print

Customizing the page number format in Excel for printing is a straightforward process. Let’s say you’re creating a report and want to start the page numbering from a specific custom number (e.g., 5). Follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Open the Page Setup box (as described in Method1).
  • Locate the input box labeled First page number.
  • Enter the desired starting page number (in this case, 5).
  • Click OK to confirm your settings.

Starting Page Number with a Custom Number to Format Excel to Print

  • Now, when you print your document, the page numbers will begin from the specified custom number.

Important Note: Keep in mind that this option only works if you’ve applied a header or footer to your worksheet.


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here:


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Zhiping Yan
Zhiping Yan

I am from China and this photo was taken in a classical garden. There are many similar gardens in China, attracting a lot of visitors every year, especially in spring and summer. I was major in Biotechnology. But I took a job as a SAS programmer because I prefer programming. Besides SAS, I also learned Excel VBA in my spare time. It is fantastic to be able to manipulate data, files and even to interact with the internet... Read Full Bio

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