Print Scale Excel (Complete Guide)

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In this article, we will review the benefits of using the print scale in Excel. The ability to scale prints is crucial for professionals who rely on Excel for data analysis and management. Therefore, get an idea about all the options available for scaling your printed document.

By adjusting the size and layout of content, print scaling enhances readability, optimizes space usage, maintains consistent formatting, and improves document structure. It is especially valuable in fields like business reports, marketing materials, and educational resources, where creating visually appealing printed documents is essential.

overview image of print scale in Excel

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How to Use Print Scale in Excel

The print scale in Excel allows you to adjust the weight, height, and overall scale of the worksheet or document for optimal printing. Check out the following section for a clear understanding of how to use print scale in Excel.

1. Adjusting Width

The width option controls the number of pages your worksheet will occupy when printed. It ensures that your content fits within the specified page width, avoiding data truncation and maintaining readability.

To use it, first, go to the Page Layout tab > find the Scale to Fit group > select the Width option > Choose the desired number of pages (e.g., 1 page, 2 pages) to fit your worksheet horizontally.

how to find the width option to scale the print preview

Then, see the Page Break Preview below. (Click on the image for better visualization)

using page break preview in Excel

Use the Page Break Preview to determine the number of pages required for printing your dataset. Count the pages based on the columns displayed side by side. For example, if it takes three pages, you can condense the data to two pages or even fit it on one page by adjusting the width to one page. (Click on the image for better visualization)

changing the page width

Increasing only the page width won’t have a significant impact, as the scale is set to 100% by default. To make the spreadsheet larger when printing, increase the scale. However, it will take more pages to print the dataset. (Click on the image for better visualization)

change of width and height in proportion to print scale

NOTE: You can change only one option. Either the Width or the Scale.

2. Adjusting Height

You can also adjust the height of your dataset using a similar process. If your data has more rows than columns, it will expand vertically.

adjusting height while printing in Excel

In the image above, you can observe that the data required 2 and a half pages (in total, 3 pages) with a scale of 100%. However, we aimed to fit it within 2 pages vertically. To achieve this, we changed the height setting from automatic to 2 pages.

changing heights to fit data in page

Excel automatically adjusted the scale of the dataset and resized the data to fit within 2 pages in height.

NOTE: You can adjust both the height and width simultaneously in Excel, and the scale will be automatically adjusted accordingly.

3. Adjusting Scale

The scale option in Excel allows you to resize your entire worksheet when printing, making it suitable for different paper sizes or adjusting the content to a specific percentage. Scaling enables you to shrink or enlarge the content while maintaining readability and optimizing the use of space.

To access the scale option, there are two methods. First, go to the Page Layout tab and locate it in the Scale to Fit group.

adjusting scale from scale to fit option

Alternatively, select the icon next to the Scale to Fit group to open the Page Setup menu, where you can easily adjust the scale from the Page tab.

adjusting scale from page setup window

By default, the scale is set to 100%. Increasing the scale, for example, to 200%, will enlarge the dataset and require more pages for printing.

dataset for adjusting print scale in Excel

Conversely, decreasing the scale, such as to 37%, will proportionately resize the data and fit it on a single page for printing.

changing print scale to fit data in one page

NOTE: In the Page Setup menu, you can choose either the Adjust to or Fit to option, applying only one at a time.

How to Understand Print Scale Options in Excel

Understanding print scale options is crucial, as they enable you to optimize the printing of your Excel worksheets, ensuring that the content fits neatly within the available pages and provides a clear and readable representation of your data.

print scale options in the print menu

1. No Scaling

Generally, it preserves the original size of the content and ensures that it is printed as it appears on the screen. If you want to print the worksheet without any resizing, this option is best for you. (Click on the image for better visualization)

no scaling option and print preview in Excel

2. Fit Sheet on One Page

This option is useful when you want to condense the entire worksheet onto a single printed page. Likewise, It automatically adjusts the scale and margins to fit the content within the available space. (Click on the image for better visualization)

fit sheet on one page and print preview in Excel

However, this option sometimes causes loss of data, reduces readability, and thus may lead to inaccurate interpretation and analysis.

3. Fit All Columns on One Page

This option is handy when you have a large dataset and want to fit all columns on a single printed page. (Click on the image for better visualization)

fit all columns in one page and print preview in Excel

Basically, it adjusts the width of the columns and the scale of the content, ensuring that all columns are visible without the need for horizontal scrolling.

4. Fit All Rows on One Page

This option is beneficial when you have a lengthy dataset and want to fit all rows within a single printed page. (Click on the image for better visualization)

fit all rows in one page and print preview in Excel

Chiefly, it ensures that all rows are visible without the need for vertical scrolling.

5. Custom Scaling Options

The Custom Scaling option in Excel offers the flexibility to resize the content according to your specific requirements. You can manually input a desired percentage or specify the desired number of pages for both width and height, providing precise control over the scaling of the printed output.

custom scale from page setup menu to print scale in Excel

Selecting this option will take you directly to the Page Setup window. From there, you can adjust the scale or fit the dataset within your specified page numbers.

For instance, you can decrease the scale size to 50%. Once you’re satisfied with the changes, simply click OK to apply them.

final output from custom scaling to print scale in Excel

Read More: How to Use Scaling Option in Excel

How to Handle If Scale to Fit Is Not Working in Excel

One of the main reasons why the Scale to Fit feature may not work in Excel is due to the presence of page breaks in spreadsheets. When page breaks are present, Excel will only print the content up to the page break, leading to incomplete printing.

removing page breaks to solve fit to scale not working issues in Excel

To resolve this issue, first, go to the Page Layout tab > from the Page Setup group > select the drop-down menu of Breaks > click on Reset All Page Breaks.

Removing all page breaks will enable you to effectively use the Scale to Fit feature in Excel for printing.

Things to Remember

  • You can only select one option at a time, either Scale or Width/Height.
  • Use Page Break Preview to visualize the divisions between pages.
  • Width adjusts the number of pages horizontally, and Height adjusts the number of pages vertically.


In short, Excel provides users with precise control over the size and layout of printed documents. By understanding and using the print scale feature in Excel effectively, users can ensure that their content fits within the designated page dimensions, optimizing space usage and maintaining readability.

Whether for business reports, educational materials, or personal use, the proper understanding of the use of print scale in Excel empowers users to create professional and visually appealing printed outputs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is print scaling?
Print scaling is a process. In Excel, It resizes the content to fit the specified page dimensions when printing. You can adjust the width, height, or both to optimize space usage and maintain the desired layout.

Q2. How do I print to a 1:100 scale in Excel?
Excel does not have a built-in option to print to a specific scale ratio, like 1:100. It is primarily intended for printing spreadsheets and lacks specialized architectural or engineering scaling capabilities.

Q3. What should I consider when adjusting the scale using the Print Scale?
When adjusting the scale, consider the legibility and clarity of the printed content. It is important to find a balance between fitting the content within the desired page dimensions and maintaining readability.

Print Scale Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Ishrak Khan
Ishrak Khan

Qayem Ishrak Khan, BURP, Urban and Regional Planning, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, has been working with the ExcelDemy project for 1 year. He wrote over 40+ articles for ExcelDemy. He is an Excel and VBA Content Developer providing authentic solutions to different Excel-related problems and writing amazing content articles regularly. Data Visualization, DBMS, and Data Analysis are his main areas of interest. Besides, He has passions about learning and working with different features of Microsoft... Read Full Bio

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