How to Print a Large Excel Spreadsheet

Written by elle blake
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How to Print a Large Excel Spreadsheet
Printing a spreadsheet without reformatting it may make it unreadable. (number background image by kuhar from

Spreadsheets are generated with hundreds of cells, making them literally unfillable, with the only real restraint being the amount of available memory in your computer. While this means you can fit all the data you need into the spreadsheet, it can make them difficult to print, as they can become very large. Luckily, there is a way to print the spreadsheet so that it remains correctly formatted.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Set the print area by selecting the top left corner of the area you wish to print, and dragging to the bottom right. This will create an outline around the area you wish to print. Click "File," "Print Area" and "Set Print Area."

  2. 2

    Click "File" and "Print Preview."

  3. 3

    Set the page size to the paper you will be using. The standard is A4.

  4. 4

    Set the scaling. Try checking "Fit to one page(s) wide by one page(s) tall" box. If the percentage showed in the toolbar changes to below 40 per cent, the text will probably be too small to read. If not, click on the page to view a print preview and check if the spreadsheet is big enough to be understood. Choose a bigger percentage if not.

  5. 5

    Reset the margins. You may need to click the "Margins" icon in the toolbar to show the margins if they do not show up automatically. Drag along the margin to shrink it, and create more usable space.

  6. 6

    Click "Print."

Tips and warnings

  • Dash lines may appear in the print area. These show how much data will fit on each page.
  • Using headers and footers will reduce the amount of space available and may cause the spreadsheet to print over more pages.

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