Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Black and White Blues.

Black and White Blues

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 30, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Excel allows you to create a colorful masterpiece on your screen. What you get when you print, however, depends entirely on the printer you are using. Some black-and-white printers do a great job of translating colors into shades of gray. Others, however, leave quite a bit to be desired in their output.

If you are having problems printing color Excel information on your black-and-white printer, try these steps:

  1. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Sheet Options group. Excel displays the Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Black and White check box is selected.
  5. Click OK.

You are now ready to print, and you should do so as you normally would. You should notice a marked improvement in your printer output.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8641) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Black and White Blues.

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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