How to Print an Excel Spreadsheet

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We can print sheets completely or do it one at a time. The same is applicable for workbooks. If we want to print just an excel table instead of the whole sheet, it is possible. We can print workbook to file as well. This tutorial will teach the following to all levels of excel users:

  • How to set the print area or how to print a range in excel
  • How to print workbook to file
  • How to print spreadsheet
  • How to format to print based on our preferences

What is Print Area?

print area consists of a range of cells that we select to print when we don’t want to print the whole worksheet. After we have defined the excel print area, only that area will be printed. It is also possible to change the print area by adding cells to the print area or clearing the entire print area to print the full worksheet.

How to Set Print Area

In setting print area, we will do the following:

  • Select the range of cells that we want to set as the print area
  • Click Page layout

Figure 1: Clicking Page Layout for Setting Print Area

  • We will click Print Area as shown in figure 2 and select Set Print Area
  • The selected range of cells is now set as the print area. When we print this worksheet, only these cells will show. We can confirm by checking the Name manager
  • We will click Formulas

Figure 2: Click Formulas for Set Print Area Confirmation

  • We will click Name manager

Figure 3: Name Manager dialog box showing the Print Area


  • We can have many print areas in a single worksheet. Each print area prints separately.
  • To print more than one Excel print area, press the CONTROL KEY and highlight the areas.
  • Assuming we set print area in SHEET1, that print area is only for sheet 1. We can set several print areas for different sheets in the same workbook.
  • The print areas are saved when we save the workbook and remains active when reopened.

Scaling or Formatting a Worksheet

We will use the Scale to Fit option to make the size of our worksheet to fit the printed page. This is important when we have many columns.

  • We will click Page layout
  • In the Scale to Fit group, we will select 1 page and Automatic in the Height box. This will cause our columns to appear in a single page. However, rows may extend more than a page.

Figure 4 – Scale to Fit to print

We will set our Height to 1 page if we want to print the spreadsheet on a single page. It is important to note that the printout may be difficult to read because Excel will shrink the data to fit. To see how much scaling is used, look at the number in the Scale box.

To print our worksheet, we will press CTRL+P to open the Print dialog box, and then click OK.

How to Print Workbook to File

  • We will click CTRL + P
  • Under Printer, we will select Print to File

Figure 5 – Printing worksheets to file

  • In the Save Print Output As dialog box, we will enter a filename and click OK to save the file in our Documents Folder. We must note that printing our saved file on a different printer may alter our page breaks and font spacing.

We can access other Printing options by clicking on Settings to Print Active Worksheets, Print Entire Workbooks, or Print a specific selection.

Figure 6 – Other Options for printing spreadsheet