A Simple Guide to Better Printing in Excel 2010


Printing spreadsheets in Excel 2010 can be frustrating, especially if your spreadsheet is going to print on more than one page. Extra columns can run into their own page, column headings only print on the first page, and it can generally be difficult to visually associate a cell with a row or column.

But there are some simple changes that you can apply to your Excel spreadsheet so that it prints better and is easier for your readers to understand.

 

Better Excel 2010 Spreadsheet Printing

This tutorial is going to address a few of the key areas that can be most helpful for improving a printed Excel spreadsheet. These areas include:

–       Hiding unnecessary columns and rows

–       Adding page numbers to the bottom of the page

–       Adjusting the page orientation

–       Adjusting the paper size

–       Adjusting the margins

–       Printing gridlines

–       Repeating the top row on every page

–       Fitting all of your columns on one sheet

 

While this may seem like a lot, you can actually make almost all of these changes from one menu. And once you get comfortable with it, you can apply all of these changes in just a few seconds. The result will be a spreadsheet that displays column headers at the top of every page, is easy to read, and won’t require you to manually adjust column sizes to prevent an extra column from printing on its’ own page.

 

Hiding Unnecessary Columns and Rows

I usually like to start here, especially when I am dealing with a spreadsheet that someone else created. It often includes information that is not relevant for the reason that the spreadsheet is being printed, and only aids in creating confusion.

You can hide a row or column by right-clicking on the column letter or the row number, then clicking the Hide option.

right-click a column, then click hide

 

 

You can learn more about hiding columns in this article.

 

Adding Page Numbers at the Bottom of the Page

This may not be something that everyone will need to do with their spreadsheets, but I have found that large spreadsheets can often look very similar from page to page. Readers also have the habit of removing staples and focusing on individual pages, which can make it almost impossible to put a spreadsheet back in order.

Step 1: Click Insert at the top of the window.

click the insert tab

 

 

Step 2: Click Header & Footer in the Text section of the navigational ribbon.

click the header and footer button

 

 

Step 3: Click inside the footer section at the bottom of the page where you want to add the page number.

click inside the fotter section where you are adding the page number

 

 

Step 4: Click the Page Number button in the Header & Footer Elements section of the navigational ribbon.

click the page number button

 

 

While you are in this view, now might be a good time to add a header. You can do so by simply clicking inside the header section where you want to add your information. Anything that you add to the header repeats on every page, so this is a good place to put a title for the spreadsheet.

You can learn more about creating a header in Excel 2010 here.

For additional information on adding page numbers in Excel 2010, you can read here.

 

Adjusting the Page Orientation

This section of the tutorial is when we are going to open the Page Setup menu, which contains a number of the different printing options that we want to adjust.

I find that most of the spreadsheets that I print look much better when they are printed in landscape orientation. This is obviously a choice that will vary depending upon your own needs, but is something that is simple to change as needed.

 

Step 1: Click the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.

click the page layout tab

 

 

Step 2: Click the Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the navigational ribbon.

a simple guide to better printing in excel 2010

 

 

Step 3: Click the page orientation that you want to use.

click your preferred paper orientation

 

 

We are going to be remaining on this menu for the rest of the tutorial, so don’t close it just yet!

 

Adjusting the Paper Size

If most of your spreadsheets print better in the landscape orientation, then there might occasionally be documents that are even too big for that. One good solution to this is to use legal sized paper, which will allow you to fit even more columns on one page.

**Reminder – This menu is accessed by clicking the Page Layout tab, then clicking the Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the navigational ribbon.**

 

Step 1: Click the drop-down menu to the right of Paper Size, then click your desired paper size.

select your paper size

 

 

Adjusting the Margins

Adjusting the margins for your spreadsheet is usually done because you want to fit more information on the page. So, for the purposes of this tutorial, our example below is going to reduce the margins to a lower value.

**Reminder – This menu is accessed by clicking the Page Layout tab, then clicking the Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the navigational ribbon.**

 

Step 1: Click the Margins tab at the top of the window.

click the margins tab

 

 

Step 2: Click the down arrow under Left to reduce the margin size, then repeat for Right, Top and Bottom. You will notice that I have not reduced my margins to 0, as my printer has difficulty printing documents without a margin. This is common among a lot of printers, so you may want to also consider using the margin sizes in the image below.

set your margin sizes

 

 

 

 

Printing Gridlines

This is one of the most important changes to make to a printed spreadsheet, and is one that I make on almost anything that I print from Excel. Adding gridlines will make it much easier for readers to tell which column and row a cell belongs too, and can help to reduce mistakes.

**Reminder – This menu is accessed by clicking the Page Layout tab, then clicking the Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the navigational ribbon.**

 

 

Step 1: Click the Sheet tab at the top of the window.

click the sheet tab

 

 

Step 2: Check the box to the left of Gridlines.

click the gridlines option

 

 

Repeating the Top Row on Every Page

This is another setting that you can take advantage of to make your spreadsheet more organized. Printing the top row on every page will make it simpler for readers to know which column a cell belongs to, which will help to eliminate mistakes.

**Reminder – This menu is accessed by clicking the Page Layout tab, then clicking the Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the navigational ribbon.**

 

Step 1: Click inside the Rows to repeat at top field.

click inside the rows to repeat at top field

 

 

Step 2: Click the row that you want to repeat at the top of every page. In this example, I am using row 1.

click the row that you want to repeat

 

 

Click the OK button at the bottom of the window to save all of the changes that we have just made, because we are now done with this window.

click the ok button to save your changes

 

 

 

If you would like to repeat a column at the left side of every page instead, you can read how in this article.

 

 

Fitting All of Your Columns on One Page

This is the last section of our tutorial, and it is a change that we are going to make directly from the Print menu.

 

Step 1: Click the File tab at the top-left of the window.

click the file tab

 

 

Step 2: Click Print in the column at the left side of the window.

click the print button

 

 

Step 3: Click the No Scaling button at the center of the window, then click the Fit All Columns on One Page option.

click the no scaling option, then click the fit all columns on one page option

 

 

You should now have an Excel spreadsheet that will print in a simple, readable format that will appeal to your readers. If everything looks correct in the Print Preview at the right side of the window, then you can click the Print button to start printing your optimized spreadsheet.

 

Would you like to print a sheet of empty cells for a checklist or a manual inventory? Learn how in Excel 2010.

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