Choosing What to Print

In some cases, you might want to choose what to print?perhaps only a portion of the worksheet, and not the whole worksheet or workbook. Excel's Print Area feature lets you single out an area on the worksheet that you want to print. The Print Titles feature lets you repeat the title, subtitle, column headings, and row headings on every page.

Excel's Fit To option lets you shrink the pages to fit any number of pages you want by shrinking a worksheet down so small that you can't read the text. If you shrink it to some suitable multiple-page setting, such as 1 page wide by 3 pages high, you could read the text comfortably.

Selecting a Print Area

To print specific portions of a worksheet, such as a range of cells, you can single out an area as a separate page and then print that page.

Before you select a print area, you need to think about which area you want to single out, excluding any column and row headings that are going to print at the top edge and left side of every page. To select the print area, highlight the cells that contain the data. Don't highlight the column and row headings.


Too many selections can spoil the print area. Do not include the title, subtitle, or column and row titles (headings) in the print area. If you include these titles in the print area, Excel prints the titles twice.

Next click File, Print Area, Set Print Area. Excel inserts automatic page breaks to the left and right and the top and bottom of the range you selected. You should see a dashed line border around the print area.

To remove the print area, click File, Print Area, and Clear Print Area. The automatic page breaks should disappear in the worksheet.

Printing the Column and Row Headings

You can select titles that are located on the top edge (column headings) and left side (row headings) of your worksheet and print them on every page of the printout.

The upcoming exercise shows you how to print the title, column headings, and row headings.

To Do: Print Column and Row Headings
  1. Click File, Page Setup and click the Sheet tab. You see the Sheet options. Notice the Print area contains the range B4:G12. For a moment, focus on the Rows To Repeat At Top and Columns To Repeat At Left boxes that appear in the Print Titles section.

  2. Click in the Rows To Repeat At Top text box, or press Tab twice to move the insertion point there.


    Drag the dialog box out of the way if it's covering the area you want to select.

  3. Click on any cell in row 1 and drag down to include the title, subtitle, and column headings.

  4. Click in the Columns to Repeat at Left text box or press Tab to move the insertion point there.

  5. Click on any cell in column A to include the row headings.

  6. Click OK to confirm your choices. All data above and to the left of the dashed-line border (print area) repeat on every page.


To remove the row and columns headings you want to repeat, delete the cell coordinates in the Rows to Repeat at Top and Columns to Repeat at Left boxes on the Sheet tab in the Page Setup dialog box.

Fitting Your Worksheet to a Number of Pages

If you have a large worksheet divided into several pages, you can shrink the pages to fit on one page by using the Fit To option. For instance, if the worksheet is two pages wide by three pages tall, you can reduce the worksheet to fit on one page by selecting the Fit To option. Because the default setting for this option is one page wide by one page tall, Excel prints your worksheet on one page. You can compare the Fit To option to the reduction feature on a copier machine.

The Fit To option works this way: Click the File menu and choose Page Setup. When the Page Setup dialog box opens, click the Page tab. In the Scaling section, choose the Fit To option. Specify the number of pages wide by the number of pages tall.

    Part I: Excel Basics