An MS Excel spreadsheet can have a thousand rows and a thousand columns. The horizontal and vertical scroll bars, the cell address bar, not to mention the zoom control, make it easy to navigate a large sheet. The problem is, the more rows and columns you have in a sheet, the harder it is going to be for you to print it. It’s almost impossible to manage printing a large Excel spreadsheet. The print preview doesn’t offer too many tools to make it easy and it’s often hard to tell which cells will appear on one page, and which will be carried over to the next. Couple this with a large number of rows and columns and you’ve got a mess on your hand. If you have a large Excel spreadsheet that you’d like to print only a small portion of, but without too much hassle, here’s how you can tell the program to print only pre-defined cells.
MS Excel has a tool called a ‘Print Area’. It’s available on MS Excel 2007 and above, and it lets you define which cells to print. To set it up, select the cells you want to print. Go to the Page Layout tab and look for the ‘Print Area’ drop-down in the ‘Page’ set of tools. From the drop-down, simply click the ‘Set Print Area’ option. The print area will be set to the cells you selected. A grey outline will appear around them.
You can redefine the print area as many times as you want though it’s worth mentioning that if the print area is large, you will still have the rows and columns overflowing on to other pages when printed. This is a solution that works when you need to take a quick print. To reset the print area, simply select the ‘Clear Print Area’ option from the same drop-down as shown in the screenshot above.