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: Excel Refuses to Put Page Breaks between Subtotal Groups.

Excel Refuses to Put Page Breaks between Subtotal Groups

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 27, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Sandy noted that when she inserts subtotals into her worksheet, she usually clicks the insert page break between groups button. It doesn't seem, however, that the page breaks are inserted. When Sandy looks at the worksheet in both Print Preview and Page Break Preview, Excel does not show the page breaks as being present.

The only time that this behavior should occur is if you direct Excel (in the Page Setup options) to fit the printout to a specific number of pages. You can check to see if this is the case in this manner:

  1. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Page Setup group. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Page tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Page tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Adjust To option is selected and set to 100%.
  6. Click OK.

The reason that you need to make this change is that if you have your page setup configured to fit your printout to a specific number of pages, Excel basically ignores any page breaks in your worksheet.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8702) 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: Excel Refuses to Put Page Breaks between Subtotal Groups.

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 five minus 0?

2023-10-01 04:34:55


@J. Woolley: thanks for the addendum!

2023-09-30 11:45:57

J. Woolley

For more on this subject, see

2023-09-30 11:39:43

J. Woolley

Perhaps I should have mentioned that page breaks in Normal view only applies to Subtotals if the "Page break between groups" option is enabled as illustrated in Paul's comment.

2023-09-29 18:15:28


@J. Woolley: thanks very much for the brief but illuminating macro. I particularly liked the Undo mechanism.

2023-09-28 14:17:04

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox includes the TogglePageBreaks macro to enable or disable display of page breaks on the active worksheet in Normal view. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+T P B. Undo (Ctrl+Z) is supported.
Here is an abbreviated version:

Sub TogglePageBreaks()
    Const myName As String = "TogglePageBreaks"
    If TypeName(ActiveSheet) <> "Worksheet" Then Beep: Exit Sub
    With ActiveSheet
        .DisplayPageBreaks = (Not .DisplayPageBreaks)
    End With
    Application.OnUndo myName, (ThisWorkbook.Name + "!" + myName)
End Sub


2023-09-28 04:19:05


Thanks very much, Paul.
The fact that it's an option explains why it didn't appear in the command list - I tend, rightly or wrongly, to associate the word "button" with commands.

2023-09-27 11:49:31


Hi Kiwerry

The button you are looking for is in the Subtotals dialog box (click in the data to subtotal and click the Subtotal button at the end of the Data tab.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 

2023-09-27 08:36:35


I doubt that an "Insert Page Break between Groups" button exists. I assume that one simply uses the usual method of insetring a page break, but puts it below a group.
My doubt arose when I looked to see whether it appears in the "All Commands" list of the Customise Quick Access Toolbar dialogue. I couldn't find anything other than simple page break removal/insertion commands.
I would be pleased to be proved wrong if someone knows where such a button can be found.

2023-09-27 07:41:02

Mike J

Where is the 'insert page break between groups button'? I have found online a reference to 'the grouping panel' but I can't find that either. This tip would be very useful.

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