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Print Preview - Excel

One of my hard and fast rules when using Excel is to ALWAYS use the print preview before printing my worksheet. Print preview allows you to evaluate the layout of your printed report before you print it. The majority of the time, you are going to want your spreadsheet to fit on a single wide page. When the length exceeds more than one page, you want to be able to control the positioning of the page breaks and for the headers and column titles to appear on each page. Using the Print Preview, you not only can evaluate how it will layout but also you can access the Page SetUp Dialog Box to manipulate the printout to your satisfaction.

Since the Sheet options are not available from the Page SetUp dialog box when it is activated from the Print Preview feature, you should set any rows and/or columns you want to have repeated on each page before you go into the Print Preview mode.

There are two methods for entering the print preview mode:
1. Click on the Print Preview Button on the Standard Toolbar
2. Select Print Preview from the File menu

To Close the Print Preview feature, click on the Close button at the top of the window and Excel will return you to your worksheet.

It is a good idea to establish a methodical sequence for evaluating your Printed Report once you enter the Print Preview mode. Here is what works for me.
1. Look at the bottom border to discover how many pages will be generated
2. Use the Next and Previous buttons to determine what is contained on each of the pages and whether you need to adjust the page width options
3. Decide whether a portrait or landscape orientation best suits your report needs and set the page orientation if necessary. Close the Page SetUp dialog box to return to the Print Preview mode and evaluate the number of pages you now have if you have changed the orientation. Review the layout of the pages again.
4. Change the paper size if necessary
5. Next adjust the scaling if you are trying to get all columns on a single page width or if you want to reduce the number of pages wide.
6. After changing the scaling evaluate whether the print size will be too small
7. Change the margin to allow more space on the printer page if the scaling is too small
8. Click on the Page Break Preview to adjust the positioning of the page breaks
9. Return to Normal view. Review the Print Preview once again to determine if any further tweaking is necessary before printing.

The Print Preview feature provides you with all the tools you need to create the correct visual impact you want with your report lay out. It also keeps you from wasting time and paper when you have printed a worksheet only to discover that a column or a few rows have spilled over to another page.

Look for these related articles coming soon to learn more about how to use the options available in the Print Preview mode and the Page SetUp Dialog Box.

Page SetUp Dialog Box
Page Options
Margin Options
Headers and Footers
Sheet Options
Controlling Pagination




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