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: Setting the Print Area.

Setting the Print Area

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 19, 2019)


Excel allows you to easily define the portion of your worksheet that should be printed. To set the print area is, follow these steps:

  1. Select the worksheet you want to print.
  2. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Select the cells you want included in the print area.
  4. Click the Print Area tool, in the Page Setup group. Excel displays a few choices below the tool.
  5. Click Set Print Area.

This is the simplest way to set the print area. There is a more involved way, however, that gives you a bit more flexibility in specifying what you want included in the print area:

  1. Select the worksheet you want to print.
  2. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the lower-right of the Page Setup group. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Sheet tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  6. In the Print Area field enter a range representing what you want printed.
  7. Click on OK.

In step 5 you can enter either an actual cell range (such as A2:G35), or you can enter a name that has been assigned to a range. Excel even allows you to specify multiple parts of the same worksheet that should be printed. To do this, simply enter the ranges (or names) separated by commas, for example, B3:F14,B19:F30.

You can also use the mouse to select the print area. To do this, click first in the Print Area field (this causes the insertion point to appear in the field). Then use the mouse to select the cells that you want included. As you select a range of cells, the address of the range is automatically shown in the Print Area field.

Be warned, though, that using this method means that once the print area is defined, Excel will only print that selection until the option is changed or removed. You'll have to remember to change it if you need to print a different selection or the entire spreadsheet.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6294) 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: Setting the Print Area.

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 8 + 6?

2019-08-19 11:23:10

Willy Vanhaelen

If you quickly want to print a portion of you worksheet, simply highlight it, press [Ctrl]+P and check "Selection" in the "Print what" section of the Print dialog. Excel will only print your selection. Any Print Area you may have set is ignored and remains unchanged. Print preview ignores this method though.

2019-08-19 06:02:32


If you're more visual or just want to tweak a previously defined print area you can use the Page Break Preview button.

If you have the View Shortcuts enabled on the Status bar the right-most Icon is the Page Break Preview which shows your tab contents with the print preview setting (if any) as dark blue lines around the print area. If the print area is larger than the defined page size then dashed blue lines are shown to indicate the individual pages. You can adjust individual pages by selecting a dashed blue line and dragging it smaller or larger. Note that you can only enlarge the print so far before Excel determines that you've filled the page as defined in the Print Settings.

Use the left of the three Shortcut buttons to return to Normal view or on the View ribbon use the Workbook Views controls located on the left end of the ribbon.

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