Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Scaling Your Printing.

Scaling Your Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 11, 2017)

10

Worksheets can get very big, very fast. Often you want to still print an entire worksheet in a single sheet of paper. Excel makes this easy to do by using scaling.

The easiest way to scale what you print is to display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon. You want to pay particular attention to the Scale to Fit group; it contains controls that cause your output to be scaled. You normally specify a height and width (in pages) and Excel takes care of calculating the scale necessary to fit the data into that number of pages.

One of the tricks I often use is to set the Scale to Fit settings to 1 page wide by 99 pages tall. In this way, I am sure the output will fit on one page across. Since my output isn't over 99 pages in length, no shrinking is done on this dimension. I end up with output that is 1 page wide by how ever many pages long Excel needs to print.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6246) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Scaling Your Printing.

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. ...

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What is 3 + 8?

2017-02-13 10:39:00

Gary Lundblad

I have a number of worksheets, about 30, that I print each month. Some are relatively short, whereas others can get quite long. If I set them all to fit to one page, some will wind up having print that is too small, but if I tell them to fit one column wide, some will print only one row or very little on a second or third page. Is there a way to use a macro to make this the print option dynamic? I could create an indicator cell on each worksheet that would tell the macro whether to fit the sheet on one page, or to use the one column wide option.

I also just want to be able to run one macro to print all worksheets, not 30 separate macros, or even having to run the same macro 30 different times.

Also, I have 35 worksheets in all, but only 31 at the most will get used each month, so I also want the macro to skip a worksheet based on the value in that print indicator cell, or another one of if that is simpler.

Thank you!

Gary


2017-02-12 16:31:54

John Mann

"Just be careful to not scale it so far that it is not legible"
That's a very good caution. If necessary, do some test prints to make sure that the document is easy to read. Last summer I did report for which some printed copies were needed, and after some testing at home ended up going to a print shop to have the formalcopies done on 11x17 paper - just so that they would be easy to read.

"... or to remain blissfully ignorant of them". I had actually forgoten about the method Allen described - perhaps that's the same thing is being ignorant.

I concur with the request to keep up these handy tips, and sometimes it's something in the comments which proves useful.


2017-02-12 13:20:07

Bill Hepburn

Just be careful to not scale it so far that it is not legible. I printouts all of the time that even with a magnifying glass I can't tell a 6, 8, or 0. Why bother sending it?


2017-02-12 10:36:33

MIchael Armstrong

"...there is a tendancy to forget the other ways..."

... or to remain blissfully ignorant of them. I really appreciate learning of alternative methods, or little obscure tips that I never would have gone looking for. Keep up the good work, everyone!


2017-02-11 13:34:57

Graham

"One of the tricks I often use is to set the Scale to Fit settings to 1 page wide by 99 pages tall. In this way, I am sure the output will fit on one page across. Since my output isn't over 99 pages in length, no shrinking is done on this dimension. I end up with output that is 1 page wide by how ever many pages long Excel needs to print."

Setting to 99 is completely unnecessary.

Just set the Scale to Fit settings to 1 page wide and leave the "tall" entry blank.

You will end up with output that is 1 page wide by how ever many pages long Excel needs to print.


2017-02-11 09:35:48

Delwar

It is very helpful. Keep it up!


2017-02-11 06:45:47

John Mann

For the fairly simple sheets I print, I find that the scaling options on the Print page are adequate with the print preview showing me enough of how it will look go know if it's OK for my purposes. I can also choose page size and orientation from there. If one always finds one method does the job, there is a tendancy to forget the other ways of getting the work done.


2015-06-22 08:44:12

Debbie Eifert

How do I get the HOME tab to remain - once I use it, it pops back to the FILE tab. I can't even double-click on format painter because it switches back to the FILE tab when I click it once.

Just an annoyance - would appreciate response if anyone knows the secret to keeping the HOME tab available (instead of it automatically switching back to the FILE tab).

Thanks,
Debbie


2012-09-18 23:00:54

Arold Green

This takes care of horizontal scaling. How can the vertical scaling be changed?


2012-01-28 09:14:25

Graham Hall

1 page wide by Blank pages tall also works well.
As does the reverse, of course.
(Just in case someone out there has a 99+ page document!)


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