(Legacy) Microsoft Excel 2007: Printing Basics

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This article is based on legacy software.

When printing in Excel 2007, you can print all or part of the current workbook or worksheet. This document introduces some helpful printing options and techniques.

Printing Tips

  • To verify how the printout will look, use Print Preview.

  • For wide worksheets, you may want to print the information in landscape orientation (11" x 8.5") rather than portrait orientation (8.5" x 11"). For more information, refer to Customizing Page Layout: Changing the Orientation.

  • The Page Setup dialog box lets you modify various document properties, such as footers and headers, page alignment, and more. For more information, refer to About the Page Setup Dialog Box.

    WARNING: If you click Quick Print quick print on the Quick Access toolbar, your document prints without letting you customize settings in the Print dialog box.
    NOTE: Quick Print may not be visible on your Quick Access toolbar. For information on adding Quick Print and other buttons to the Quick Access toolbar, refer to Customizing Toolbars: Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.

Setting a Default Printer

If you want to use the same printer for all your documents, you can set a default printer.

  1. In the bottom left corner of your Windows screen, click Start start » select Printers and Faxes.
    The Printers and Faxes dialog box appears.

  2. Right click the printer you want as your default printer » select Set as Default Printer.
    A checkmark appears next to the new default printer.

  3. Click Close. close

Printing the Active Worksheet(s)

Excel lets you print the active sheet(s) in your workbook without having to print the rest of the workbook. Unless you select multiple worksheets, the active worksheet is the visible worksheet (i.e., the top worksheet; the worksheet whose tab is selected). As explained below, however, it is possible to activate specific multiple worksheets for printing.

  1. To activate the worksheet you want printed, click the tab of that worksheet.
    The worksheet is active.

  2. (Optional) To make more than one worksheet active,
    1. Click the tab of the first sheet you want to activate.
      The worksheet is active.
    2. To activate sheets adjacent to the first one you selected, press [Shift] while you click the tab of the last sheet you want selected.
      All sheets between the first and last tabs selected are active.
      To activate sheets that are not adjacent to the first one you selected, press [Ctrl] while you click the tabs of all sheets you want selected.
      All selected sheets are active.
  3. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click the Office Button office button » select Print.
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [P].
    The Print dialog box appears.

  4. In the Print what section, select Active sheet(s).

  5. Click Print.
    The active worksheets are printed.

Printing the Entire Workbook

Printing the entire workbook will print all worksheets that contain data.

  1. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click the Office Button office button » select Print.
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [P].
    The Print dialog box appears.

  2. In the Print what section, select Entire workbook.

  3. Click Print.
    The entire workbook is printed.

Defining the Print Area

By default, Excel prints all data on the current worksheet. However, you can define a specific print area from the Page Setup dialog box or the Print Area command.

Defining the Print Area: Dialog Box Option

HINT: For more information about the Page Setup dialog box Sheet tab options, refer to Sheet Tab Options.


  1. Select the Page Layout command tab.

  2. In the Page Setup group, click Page Setup. page setup
    The Page Setup dialog box appears.

  3. Select the Sheet tab.

  4. In the Print Area text box, type the range of cells you want to print.
    OR
    To select the area,
    1. Click Collapse Dialog. collapse dialog
    2. Select the desired range of cells.
    3. Click Restore Dialog. restore dialog

  5. Click OK.
    The print area is defined.


Defining the Print Area: Print Area Option

Excel will keep the print area you have defined until it is cleared or replaced.

To set the print area:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to print.

  2. Select the Page Layout command tab.

  3. In the Page Setup group, click Print Area print area » select Set Print Area.
    The print area is set.

  4. (Optional) To add more data to the print area,
    1. select a range of cells.
    2. In the Page Setup group, click Print Area print area » select Add to Print Area.
      The selected cells are added to any previously selected data.
    3. Repeat steps a–b as necessary.

To clear the print area:

  1. In the Page Setup group, click Print Area print area » select Clear Print Area.
    Any print area settings are cleared.

Printing Ranges of Cells

You can manually select ranges of cells for printing. You also have the option of selecting multiple non-contiguous ranges for printing.

NOTE: Unless you provide a print range, Excel will print everything on the current worksheet, resulting in a printout of all cells from A1 to the last column and row containing information.

Selecting a Print Range Manually

  1. Select the range of cells to be printed.
    OR
    From the Name Box pull-down list, select the range name to be printed.

  2. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click the Office Button office button » select Print.
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [P].
    The Print dialog box appears.

  3. In the Print what section, select Selection.

  4. Click OK.
    The specified range of cells is printed.

Selecting Multiple Ranges

Excel lets you print non-contiguous ranges. Selected ranges will print on separate pages.

  1. Select the first range to be printed.

  2. Press [Ctrl] + select the second range to be printed.

  3. For each additional range to be printed, repeat step 2.

  4. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click the Office Button office button » select Print.
    OR
    Press [Ctrl] + [P].
    The Print dialog box appears.

  5. In the Print what section, select Selection.

  6. Click Print.
    The specified range of cells is printed.