Printing What You Want

Excel gives you several ways to print a worksheet:

  • Select File, Print.

  • Press Ctrl+P.

  • Click the Print button on the Standard toolbar.

When you select File, Print or press Ctrl+P, Excel displays the Print dialog box. This dialog box enables you to print some or all the pages within a worksheet, selected data, the active worksheet, or the entire workbook. You can also specify the number of copies of the printout, and you can collate pages when you print multiple copies of a multipage worksheet. You can even print a worksheet to another file.

If your printer options are already set up for printing the document, you can simply click the Print button on the Standard toolbar. Excel doesn't display the Print dialog box and prints the worksheet immediately. This printing method is useful for quick printing, but you can't change any options.

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It's a good idea to save your workbooks before printing?just in case a printer error or other problem occurs. That way, you won't lose the work.


Checking Your Printer

Before you use your printer with Excel, it's advisable to check the Printer Setup options. You often need to provide more details about your printer so Excel can use the options and capabilities that are available with your particular printer.

For most printers, the Printer Setup options let you select the paper size and paper type. You can choose the paper feed type: cut-sheet (single sheets of paper) or banner (continuous form paper). You can also select from three types of print quality:

  • Best? Highest quality, slower printing than Normal mode; uses more ink.

  • Normal? Letter quality; normal printing speed.

  • EconoFast? Draft quality, lighter output, faster printing than Normal mode. Uses less ink than other modes and reduces the frequency of replacing your print cartridges; available only when you select Plain Paper as the paper type.

You can try your hand at checking the printer setup options in the next exercise.

To Do: Check the Printer Setup Options
  1. Click File, Print. The Print dialog box appears. In the Printer section, you should see the printer name, status, type, where it's connected on your computer, and any comments.

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    Your computer might be set up to run on different printers, depending on your output needs. For example, you might want to use a laser printer when you need a high-quality printout; at other times, the output from your inkjet printer might be sufficient.


  2. Make sure the correct printer is selected. To select a different printer, click the Name down arrow and choose a printer from the list.

  3. Click the Properties button next to the printer name. The dialog box with your printer's name appears. The first two tabs are usually Setup and Features. Any other tabs that appear, depend on the printer you have.

  4. Click the Setup tab, if necessary. The Setup options include paper options and print quality.

  5. Change any printer setup options you want and click the Close button to close the dialog box.

  6. Close the Print dialog box by clicking Cancel.

Printing Your Worksheets

If you want to print one worksheet just the way it is without changing any print options, simply click the Print button on the Standard toolbar. But suppose you want to print more than one worksheet. No problem?you just need to tell Excel which worksheets you want to print. You can print contiguous or noncontiguous worksheets.

Contiguous worksheets? graphics/newterm_icon.gif Worksheets that are next to each other in the workbook, without any worksheet that you don't want in between them.

Noncontiguous worksheets? graphics/newterm_icon.gif Worksheets that are separated by several worksheets that you do not want.

To select worksheets, you click on the worksheet tabs. An active worksheet's tab is white, whereas the tab of an inactive worksheet is gray.

You learn how to print contiguous and noncontiguous worksheets in the upcoming exercise.

To Do: Print Worksheets
  1. First you select and print contiguous worksheets. Select the sheet tab that contains the first worksheet you want to print. If necessary, click the Summary sheet tab.

  2. Select the sheet tab that contains the last worksheet you want to print. Hold down the Shift key and click the Sheet3 tab. This step selects all the worksheets you're going to print. The selected sheet tabs are white.

  3. Click the Print button on the Standard toolbar to print the selected worksheets.

  4. Next you select and print noncontiguous worksheets. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the Detail sheet tab and the Sheet3 sheet tab. This step deselects the sheets, and the tabs should be gray.

  5. Select the sheet tab that contains the first worksheet you want to print. Click the Summary sheet tab, if necessary.

  6. Select the sheet tab that contains the next worksheet you want to print. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the Sheet3 tab. This step selects the worksheets you're going to print. The selected sheet tabs are white.

  7. Click the Print button on the Standard toolbar to print the selected worksheets.

  8. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the Sheet3 sheet tab. This step deselects the sheet, and the tab should be gray.

Printing a Range

You can choose which pages you want to print in the Print Range area in the Print dialog box. You have two choices: All or Pages. Printing all the pages in your active sheet is the default print range setting. However, you can print specific pages by choosing the Page(s) option and entering the page numbers in the From and To boxes. For example, if you type 1 in the From box and 3 in the To box, Excel prints pages 1 through 3.

The next exercise demonstrates how to print only page 2.

To Do: Print Ranges
  1. Press Ctrl+P to show the Print dialog box. In the Print Range area, the All option is already selected.

  2. Click the Page(s) option button. This step tells Excel that you want to select specific pages.

  3. In the From box, type 2. Press the Tab key and type 2 in the To box. This step tells Excel that you want to print page 2.

  4. Click OK to print the specified page.

Printing a Selection

What if you want to print a portion of the worksheet? You can do just that by selecting the cells, rows, and/or columns you want to print. Then click File, Print. In the Print dialog box, in the Print What section, choose Selection. This option prints only the portion of the worksheet you selected.

Printing the Entire Workbook

You can print the entire workbook with all its worksheets in one fell swoop. To do so, click File, Print. In the Print dialog box, in the Print What section, choose Entire Workbook. This option prints the whole workbook.

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If you want to save your print settings, you can store them in a custom view. To create a custom view, first get the print settings the way you want them. Then choose View, Custom Views. The Custom Views dialog box opens. Click the Add button, type a name for the view in the Name text box. Leave the Print settings check box checked. Click OK. You have now saved your print settings, so you can print the worksheet with those settings at any time. To display the custom view, choose View, Custom Views. In the Custom Views dialog box, click on the view name in the Views list and click the Show button. The view appears onscreen, and then you can print the worksheet with its print settings.


Faxing a Workbook

You can fax a workbook if you have fax software and hardware installed and set up on your computer. To send a workbook as a fax, choose File, Print. In the Name drop-down list, select the fax service that appears in the list. Select the fax options you want and click OK.

Canceling Printing

You can cancel a print job either before it prints or while it prints. Canceling a print job does not work for workbooks such as the one in the exercises in this hour, unless you are on a network or have other workbooks lined up to print. Excel prints a small worksheet faster than you can cancel it.

While a worksheet is printing, Windows displays a Printer icon at the right end of the Windows taskbar. To stop a worksheet from printing, double-click the printer icon to display the Print Queue dialog box (see Figure 7.9). Click the document name and select Document, Cancel from the menu bar in the dialog box to cancel the print job. Click the Close button to close the dialog box.

Figure 7.9. Canceling printing in the Print Queue dialog box.

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