Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Printing Excel Spreadsheets On One Page Width

One annoying thing that happens frequently when attempting to print an Excel spreadsheet is the fact that it is sometimes difficult to fit the contents onto one page width. What do I mean by this?

Have you ever printed a spreadsheet in which the main contents will appear on, say, the first three pages; however, you get three more pages of random contents that spilled over onto separate pages due to the fact that your table was too wide to fit on one page? (wow, what a long question).

If this has ever happened to you, then here are a couple of quick fixes. First, make sure that your Page Orientation is Landscape instead of Portrait.

  • Click on File on the menu bar. Click on Page Setup. The Page Setup dialog box will appear.
  • Make sure you are looking at the Page tab.
  • Select Landscape under Orientation.
If this does not fix the problem, then you can automatically shrink your worksheet to one page wide.
  • Click on File>Page Setup again.
  • Make sure you are looking at the Page tab.
  • Under Scaling, see where it says Fit to ??? page(s) wide by ??? tall.
  • Select that option and make it such that it will be one page wide. This will automatically shrink the text so that it appears on one page wide.
  • Seeing that we do not necessarily need the table to fit on one page tall, you can change the number tall to anything obtuse (like 500). Excel will not stretch your document so that it is 500 pages long; but if your worksheet is longer than 500 pages long, then it will shrink the text. We don't really want to shrink the text this way, which is why I suggest entering in a large obtuse number that you will hopefully never approach.
So, next time you are helping a customer who can't seem to get their Excel table on one page width, just show them this handy-dandy trick.


Anonymous said...

If you do not need the table to fit on one page tall you can leave that field blank. Excel will adjust only the width and use as many pages it needs. This way you never have to worry about the number "tall" be exceeded.

Kevin Dixon said...

You may be working with a different version of Excel. This library system uses Excel 2002. When I try to leave that field blank I receive an error message stating that the number must be between 1 and 32767. I would not be surprised if a later version of Excel addressed this quirk. Thanks for the info!

pierre-luc said...

If you have a really long table and would like to have it split over one page ... is there a simple and automatic way to do this ?