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6 Excel Print Formatting Techniques That You Need To Know

Like it or not, sometimes it's not the data or analysis you've done, but rather how you present it that sells. We've seen so much good work done not getting enough credit simply because poor formatting makes it look unprofessional when printed. Here are 6 MS Excel formatting techniques that you need to know when printing your spreadsheet.

1. Print Header Row On Every Sheet

Page Layout => Print Tiles => Rows to repeat at top

When you have a spreadsheet that stretches across many pages, you should have the header row repeat at the top of every page so that readers can follow your data without having to flip back to the first page every time. 

2. Portrait / Landscape Orientation

Page Layout => Orientation => Portrait / Landscape

Depending on the number of columns you have and how "wide" your rows are, it is essential that you switch between portrait and landscape orientation when you print your sheet. The rule of thumb, use landscape if you have many columns, portrait otherwise.

If you'd like to change the orientation of multiple sheets at once, select them by holding the ctrl button and clicking on the sheet tab at the bottom and then change the layout as shown above.

3. Fit Spreadsheet Onto A Single Piece of Paper

Page Layout => Orientation => Width / Height

Don't you just hate it when half your columns get printed on one sheet of paper and the rest on another? That makes your spreadsheet data so hard to follow. If you'd like to fit all your rows/columns to a sheet of paper, set the height/width to 1 page and Excel will re-size your font size automatically. Do note that this could lead to some tiny fonts if your rows are too wide or columns too long.

4. Adjust The Margins

Page Layout => Margins => Normal / Wide / Narrow

If you want to squeeze more data in without reducing the font size too much, try using narrow margins to reduce the white space on the sides. A custom 0.5" margin all around works well too.

5. Page Break Preview - Design Your Page

View => Page Break Preview

With Page Break Preview, you can see exactly what gets printed on each sheet of paper. In the example above, data till row 7 is printed on page 1 while the remaining data is printed on page 2. By dragging the blue line, you can include more or less data in the specific sheet.

6. Print Area - Decide What To Print

Page Layout => Print Area => Set Print Area

If you do not want to print all our data, you can select the data to be printed as shown above and then set the print area. Only the data you selected will be printed. 

And so there you have it, 6 formatting tips you need to know when you're printing your spreadsheet. We hope you've found them useful and do like or share with your friends and colleagues! For more Excel Tips, check out our guide on analysis and presentation add-ins as well as Excel shortcuts to save you time.


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