How to Insert a Page Break in Excel

The concept of setting a page break in Excel may seem strange at first. After all, Excel feels like an endless stream of blank cells in both horizontal and vertical directions. So what exactly defines a page, and why would need to insert a page break in Excel?

Similar to a Word Document

It might be easier to think of how a document in Microsoft Word works. When you fill enough words and sentences on one page in your Word document, it automatically inserts another page for you to continue typing. If you print your Word document, the printed pages will match the document pages on your screen.

But, sometimes in Word, you need to force a page break before the current page is full. This is common when starting a new section or chapter in a book.

Excel Pages Work the Same Way

The same concept in your Word document applies to your Excel document. The difference is that it may not be as obvious to you where the natural page breaks fall in Excel. Instead of seeing visual pages on your screen, Excel uses dashed lines between the rows and columns to indicate where the page will break, both horizontally and vertically.

Here’s an example of an Excel document that spans two pages when printed. If you look closely, you can see a dashed horizontal line between rows 37 and 38. You can also see a dashed vertical line between columns H and I. Therefore, everything in columns A through H and rows 1 through 37 will print on the first page.

Page Break in Excel - magoosh

Keep in mind, if you were to insert new rows or columns, increase the size of these columns, change font size, margins or other formatting features in the document, the dashed line page break indicators would adjust accordingly.

Set Your Own Page Break in Excel

Our sample Excel spreadsheet has data for four separate regions. If we print the document as is, Region 2 and Region 3 will split across multiple pages and be mixed in with the other regions. A better way to print the document would be to print each region on a separate page. We can do this by inserting a page break in Excel between each region.

To do this, we would click on cell A17, the first cell for Region 2. Next, we click on the Page Layout tab. Then, in the Page Setup section, click the Breaks icon and select “Insert Page Break” from the drop-down list.

Insert Page Break Excel - magoosh

The result is a line between rows 16 and 17. Note the line is solid (not dashed) to indicate that we manually inserted the page break. Now, when we print our document, Region 1 data will appear on page 1 and Region 2 will appear on page 2. We could repeat this process to put Regions 3 and 4 are their own pages as well.

Insert Page Break in Excel - magoosh

Removing a Page Break

If you need to remove a page break, click on the same cell you used to insert the page break and choose “Remove Page Break” from the drop-down list under the Breaks icon. To remove all page breaks from a document, choose “Reset All Page Breaks.”

By inserting your own page breaks into an Excel document, you should have complete control of what part of your document gets printed on each page.

Check out our Excel Lesson Videos to learn how to do more document formatting like this in Excel.

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