How to Set Print Area in Excel

Have you ever wondered how to set the print area in Excel or why you might want to do so?

Imagine you developed an Excel spreadsheet to track sales data by sales person for your company. In your spreadsheet, you have a row for each sales person, along with the number of sales they made, the total value of the sales and the commission the sales person earned for these sales.

Now, let’s say you want to print your spreadsheet and deliver the paper copy to the executives of the company to give them a feel for how sales are progressing for the company. No problem. Just use Excel’s print option to print a copy of your spreadsheet.

Excel Print Area: Exclude Rows and Columns

But, what if you want to give the same printed report to the sales team as an incentive to recognize the top sales people at your company? You want to show the sales person, the number of sales and the total value of the sales but not the commission earned.

You could do this by deleting the sales commission column and printing the updated spreadsheet. This would work but, you have to make sure you don’t save your changes to the spreadsheet each time or you will lose the commission data you temporarily deleted.

Set the Excel Print Area

A better way is to use the Excel Print Area option. The Print Area button is located on the Page Layout tab in Excel. To set the print area in Excel, do the following:

    1. Use your mouse to click and drag (select) the area you wish to print.

    3. Click the Print Area button and select Set Print Area.

how to set print area in excel, excel print area, example - magoosh

When you do this, Excel will add a solid line border around the cells that you selected to print.

With a print area selected, you can now print your Excel document as you normally would. However, instead of the entire document printing, only the print area that you selected will print.

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

Set the Print Area by Column or Row

If your Excel spreadsheet has data in columns A through M, but you only want to print columns C through G:

    1. Click once on the column head for column C.

    3. Hold down the Shift key and click on the column head for column G.
      • This will highlight columns C, D, E, F and G.


    4. Click the Print Area button and select Set Print Area.

You can do the same with rows. Select the row head for the first row you want to print and then shift-click the row head for the last row you want to print. Click the Print Area button and select Set Print Area.

Clear the Excel Print Area

Finally, if you want to go back to printing the entire spreadsheet:

    1. click the Print Area button, and

    3. select Clear Print Area.

To learn more about how to use Excel in your everyday business and financial activities, please check out our Excel Learning Videos!

Comments are closed.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!