How to Set Print Area in Excel

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- Written by Puneet

In this tutorial, we will learn everything about using the print area in Excel.

What is a Print Area in Excel?

A print area is a range of cells in Excel, you specify or make it fix for printing. So when you give a print command, it only prints that specific range. You can have multiple print areas in a single sheet and then save that file to save the print area and the file.

In Excel, the print area is a range of cells only required to be printed from the spreadsheet. Users often want to print only the specific area of the spreadsheet instead of printing the entire sheet.

For this, the user can define and create a printing selection area, and once the printing area gets selected, the user will get the print of that selected area range only. Users can create multiple print area selections within the spreadsheet, and each will get printed on a separate page.

We have quick and easy steps below to set and modify the Excel print area selection.

Steps to Set the Print Area in Excel

  1. First, select the single or multiple cell range using the “Control” key to set a print area in the sheet.
  2. Afterward, go to the “Page Layout” tab and click the “Print Area” icon. In the print dropdown, click on the “Set Print Area”. And the moment you click on the option, it will set that selected range as the print area.
    set-print-area-in-excel
  3. You can see a light grey border around the range which you have selected.
  4. To view the print area selections, go to the “View” tab and click on the “Page Break View” icon, and you will find the page breaks preview based on the print area selections.
    page-break-view

When you save the workbook, the print area selections get saved, and each print area selection prints on a separate page, which means one print area selection per page.

Add Cells and Ranges to the Print Area

Anytime, the user can add the cells to expand the print area selections or create an additional print area.

When a user adds the adjacent cells to the existing print area, Excel includes those cells within that existing print area selection.

Thus, that print area selection gets expanded and when a user adds non-adjacent cells range then Excel creates that range as an additional print area selection that Excel prints on a separate page.

  • First, select the additional adjacent range of cells if you want to expand the current print area selection.
  • Or, select the additional non-adjacent range of cells if you want to add a new print area with the existing print area in the spreadsheet.
  • After that, go to the “Page Layout” tab, click on the “Print Area” icon, and then select “Add to the Print Area”.
modify-the-print-area

In the below “Page Break Preview”, you can see that Excel has expanded the print area selection where we have added adjacent cells and created an additional print area selection where we have added non-adjacent cells. So, in this case, you will get three print areas printed on three separate pages.

page-break-view-for-print-areas

Clear the Print Area Selection

Under the “Page Layout” tab Excel does not have the option to remove or clear any particular print area from multiple print areas within a sheet so, removing a print area means clearing all the print areas.

  • First, click anywhere in the spreadsheet from which you want to remove the print area.
  • After that, go to the “Page Layout” tab click on the “Print Area” icon, and then select “Clear Print Area”, and it will remove all the print areas from the sheet.
clear-the-print-area

Ignore Print Area while Printing the Spreadsheet

Users can ignore the print areas to be printed while printing without clearing the print areas and can print the whole spreadsheet anytime.

  • First, press “Ctrl + P” to print the opened spreadsheet, and you will get the print dialog box opened.
  • After that, click on the “Print Active Sheets” option to get the drop-down list.
  • Now, select the “Ignore Print Area” option and excel will ignore the print area selection and print the whole spreadsheet.
ignore-print-area
Last Updated: March 06, 2024