Home > Structure > Worksheets > Print Tips

Excel Printing Tips and Fixes

Easy steps show how to fix Excel printing problems. Fit all columns on 1 page, repeat headings on all pages, print gridlines, how to remove Page 1 in middle of sheet, and more Excel printing tips

page scaling

Print a Large Excel Sheet

When printing a large Excel sheet, you can change a few settings, to make the printed pages easier to read.

Fit All Columns on One Page

Headings On Every Printed Page

This short video shows the steps to fit all the columns, and set the heading rows, and there are written steps below the video.

Fit All Columns on One Page

If the Excel sheet is too wide to print across one page, you can adjust its scaling, to fit all columns on one page. There are two places where you can change the scaling setting:

Change Scaling - Print Window

  1. On the Ribbon, click the File tab, then click Print
  2. In the Settings section, click the arrow at the right of No Scaling
  3. Click on Fit All Columns on One Page
  4. fit all columns on one page

Now all the columns will fit across a single page when printed, and down as many pages as required, to fit all the rows.

Change Scaling - Page Setup

Follow these steps to change the scaling setting in the Page Setup dialog box

  1. On the Ribbon, click the Page Layout tab
  2. In the Page Setup group, click the Dialog Launcher, at the bottom right

    page setup dialog launcher

  3. In the Page Setup window, on the Page tab, click the 'Fit to' option for Scaling
  4. Enter 1 as the number of page(s) wide
  5. Clear the box for the number of pages tall, then click OK

    page scaling

This will limit the file to printing one page across, but won't limit the number of pages down. You don't have to guess the number of pages required, just leave it blank and Excel will figure it out for you.

Headings On Every Printed Page

In a long Excel worksheet, you might have headings in the top rows, to explain what is in each column of data. When you print the worksheet, you can repeat those headings on each printed page, by setting the Print Titles, as described below.

Note: If the Rows to Repeat option is not available, see the next section, on how to fix that problem.

To repeat headings on each printed page:

  1. On the Ribbon, click the Page Layout tab, and click Print Titles
  2. print titles

  3. In the Page Setup window, on the Sheet tab, click in the Rows to Repeat at Top box.
  4. On the worksheet, select the row(s) that you want to print at the top of each page. The row numbers will appear in the Page Setup window.
  5. rows to repeat

  6. Click OK, to close the window.

Rows to Repeat Not Available

Occasionally, when the Page Setup window opens, the Rows to Repeat at Top command is not available. As shown in the screen shot below, that setting, and a few others, are greyed out.

rows to repeat grey

This happens if you open the Page Setup window from the Print Preview window. In the screen shot above, I clicked the Page Setup link in the Preview window, and those commands were grey.

To solve the problem:
  1. Close the Page Setup window, if the Rows to Repeat and other commands are grey.
  2. On the Ribbon, click the Page Setup tab
  3. Click Print Titles, to open the Page Setup window again, with the commands active.

    print titles

Print Worksheet Gridlines

By default, Excel does not show the worksheet gridlines when you preview or print a sheet, even if the gridlines are visible on the sheet.

If you want to print the gridlines, follow these steps, to change one of the Page Setup options:

  1. On the Excel Ribbon, click the Page Layout tab
  2. Click Print Titles, to open the Page Setup window.
  3. print titles

  4. In the Page Setup window, the Sheet tab should be active -- if not, click the Sheet tab
  5. In the Print section, add a check mark to Gridlines, and click OK

print titles

Print All Sheets in File

Instead of printing sheets one at a time, watch this short video to see how to print all the sheets in an Excel file at once. Be sure to watch to the very end, to see an important step! If you don't do that step, you could accidentally overwrite the worksheet data

Written instructions are below the video.

To print all the sheets in an Excel file:

  • Right-click on any sheet tab, and click Select All Sheets
  • select all sheets

  • On the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), click the Print or Preview command. If those buttons are not on the QAT, click the File tab on the Excel Ribbon, and then click Print.
  • print and preview on QAT

  • After you print or preview the sheets, close the Preview window, to return to Excel
  • Click on any sheet tab, to select that sheet and unselect the other sheets.

Print Selected Table

When you're working with a named Excel table, this video shows a quick way to print just the table, without all the other stuff that's on the worksheet. There are written steps below the video.

To print a named Excel table, without printing other items on the worksheet, follow these steps:

  • Select any cell in the table
  • Click the File tab, and then click Print
  • In the first drop down list under Settings, choose Print Selected Table
  • Then, click the Print command at the top

If you do this frequently, add the command to your Quick Access Toolbar. In the "All Commands" list, look for "Print List".

print and preview on QAT

Remove Page 1 Watermark

When you open an Excel file, or switch to a different worksheet, you might see a large "Page 1" in the middle of the sheet. It looks like a watermark, but don't worry -- that text won't appear on your printed worksheet.

That "Page 1" is a sign that you are in Page Break Preview, instead of Excel's Normal view or Page Layout view.

page break preview big grey page 1 watermark

Video: Remove Page 1 Watermark

Watch this short video to see how to turn that page 1 watermark off and on. You will also see how Page Break Preview can be helpful. It lets you:

  • see how the printed pages will look, before you print them
  • adjust the location of the page breaks, if necessary

There are written steps in the video transcript, below.

Video Transcript

In Excel, you might open a workbook, or switch to a different worksheet, and see a large Page 1 in gray in the middle of your worksheet. This is a sign that you're in page break preview, and it can be a very useful place to work.

Turn It Off

I'll show you how you can use it, but first I'll show you how to turn this off, and then back on. To turn it off,

  • Go to the ribbon and click the View tab
  • At the left, you'll see Normal, Page Layout and Page Break Preview.
  • To go back to the regular view, you just click Normal

There is your worksheet, as you're used to seeing it.

workbook views on Excel Ribbon

Page Break Preview Features

We'll go back into Page Break Preview, so you can see some of the useful features that it has.

  • NOTE: The first time you use it, you might see this little welcome that tells you what you can do in Page Break Preview. And if you don't want to see that again, just check the box, and click OK.

As I scroll down in Page Break Preview, if it's a long worksheet, you'll see dashed blue lines, and that indicates an automatic page break.

If I scroll down now I'm on page two and you can see what we'll print on page two and three, and so on down to the end of the worksheet.

If I look at the place that the first page break will fall, I'm going to increase the zoom a little so I can see what's there. And there are a few items here for February 21st.

Move a Page Break

Some of them are on page one, and the rest are on page two. If I'd like to keep those all together, I can move this page break.

  • I'll point to the line, drag it up, so it's between the 14th and the 21st.

When I let go, it's now a solid blue line, and that indicates a manual page break -- one that I've put in, rather than an automatic one.

If I scroll down, there's the end of page two, I can adjust it as well by dragging up.

You can just check each page before you print it and make sure everything is in a place where you want it.

Remove a Page Break

After you've added manual page breaks, you can also remove them if you change your mind.

So if I click on this cell, just below the first manual page break, and right click, I can click the command here to remove that page break.

It's gone now, and there's the automatic page break back.

If I want to get rid of all of the page breaks that I put in, I can right-click, and reset all page breaks.

Go Back to Normal View

Then to go back to normal view:

  • You can click this button on the View tab
  • Or at the bottom-right click the Normal View button

and you're back to the regular spreadsheet view.

workbook views on Excel status bar

Related Links

Printing Excel Comments

Print Excel Bingo Cards

Pivot Filter Pre-Print Checklist

Excel Data Entry Tips

Worksheet Tips

Worksheet VBA

FAQs - Excel Application and Files

Last updated: May 28, 2024 2:42 PM