Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Printing a Chart.

Printing a Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 14, 2013)

1

Excel allows you to quickly convert your worksheet data into snazzy charts. (You know—a picture is worth a thousand worksheet cells.) Once your chart looks just the way you want it to, you may be wondering exactly how to get the best results when printing it. In many ways, printing a chart is the same as printing a worksheet, but with a few subtle differences.

If you are not printing to a color printer, the first thing you will want to do is make sure you use the Print Preview feature to see what your chart will appear like in black and white. If there is not enough contrast between different parts of your chart, you will want to make changes to either the colors or patterns used within the chart so there is a better contrast and your printed chart will look better.

When you are ready to print your chart, the easiest method is to simply press Ctrl+P. Excel displays the Print dialog box (Excel 2007) or the print settings (later versions), with which you are probably already familiar. The information at the top of the dialog box or settings indicates where your chart will be printed. If this is not the printer you want to use, choose a different printer using the drop-down list. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

The actual information and options available in the Print dialog box can vary depending on the type of printer you are using. Different printers have different capabilities, and Windows takes advantage of these capabilities as much as possible. In general, however, you can use this dialog box or settings page to select the number of copies you want to print, along with which pages you want to print.

One of the other things you can specify is what you want sent to the printer. This is done by making a selection in the Print What box (Excel 2007) or the first drop-down list under the Settings heading (later versions of Excel). By default, this setting is Active Sheet(s) or Print Active Sheets, typically meaning that only the current worksheet will be printed (the one containing your chart). By changing this field, you can also specify that only a selection be printed or that your entire workbook is printed. (You should note that the Selection or Print Selection options are only available if you are printing a worksheet containing an embedded chart and that chart is selected; it is not available when printing a chart sheet.)

When you are satisfied with what you want to print, click on the OK button (Excel 2007) or Print button (later versions of Excel). Excel sends your information to the printer, as you directed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2088) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Printing a Chart.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Merging and Printing

When you merge information into a document, Word provides two different ways you can create your output. Here's an overview ...

Discover More

Emoticons in Word

Like to add a smiley or two to your writing? Word makes it easy through creative use of the AutoCorrect feature.

Discover More

Excel Refuses to Put Page Breaks between Subtotal Groups

Page breaks not appearing where you expect them in your subtotaled data? It could be because of a setting you made in your ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (RIBBON)

Print Quantity is Stuck

When you choose to print something in Excel, the print quantity should automatically reset to 1. If the quantity is set to ...

Discover More

Collating Copies

When you print multiple copies of worksheets that require more than one page each, you'll probably want those copies printed ...

Discover More

Working with Multiple Printers

If you have multiple printers accessible to your computer, you may need a way to quickly print your worksheet on a specific ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

2013-09-18 12:51:14

Richard

When I generate a chart, it appears on the current worksheet. I make sure it looks as I want and then move it to its own worksheet before printing. Moving it always results in an A4-sized chart. I want to expand it to A3 so I use the size button on the page layout tab. This changes the size of the background but not the chart - I have to do this manually. And re-scale the text accordingly. Any ideas on how to do this more efficiently?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing