Excel – Set Print Area: A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Printing


Michael Collins

Got an Excel spreadsheet you want to print just right? Setting the print area is key. It’s like telling your printer, “Hey, focus on this part and ignore the rest.” Here’s a quick rundown: Open your worksheet, select the cells you need, head to the ‘Page Layout’ tab, and click ‘Set Print Area’. Easy, right? Let’s dive deeper into the details.

Step by Step Tutorial: Set Print Area in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, understand that setting a print area in Excel helps you print only the parts you want. No more wasting ink or paper on irrelevant data!

Step 1: Select the cells you want to print

Click and drag your cursor over the cells you need.

Selecting cells might sound simple, but it’s the cornerstone of setting a print area. Be precise! If you accidentally include extra cells, they’ll show up in your printout. Remember, you can select non-adjacent cells by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key while clicking the desired cells.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Page Layout’ tab

Find and click on the ‘Page Layout’ tab in the Excel ribbon.

This tab is where Excel keeps all its page setup options. It’s like the control center for making your spreadsheet look good on paper.

Step 3: Click ‘Print Area’

Look for the ‘Print Area’ button in the ‘Page Layout’ tab.

It’s usually in the ‘Page Setup’ group of commands. This is the button that will let you tell Excel exactly what you want to print.

Step 4: Select ‘Set Print Area’

After clicking ‘Print Area’, a drop-down menu will appear. Choose ‘Set Print Area’.

And that’s it! You’ve just told Excel to print only the cells you selected. But what if you need to change or clear the print area? Don’t worry; you can always come back to the ‘Print Area’ button and adjust as needed.

Once you’ve set the print area, Excel will remember it until you change it. When you hit print, only the cells you selected will be on the page. It’s a great way to save resources and ensure you’re only sharing the data that matters.

Tips: Excel Set Print Area

  • To include more cells in an existing print area, select the additional cells, then go back to ‘Print Area’ and click ‘Add to Print Area.’
  • If you’ve made a mistake, just reset by choosing ‘Clear Print Area’ from the same ‘Print Area’ dropdown menu.
  • You can set multiple print areas by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key and selecting various cell ranges before setting the print area.
  • Remember, setting a print area doesn’t affect the actual data in your worksheet; it only changes what gets printed.
  • Use the ‘Print Preview’ feature to check how your set print area will look on paper before hitting print.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set a print area for multiple sheets?

Yes, you can set a print area for multiple sheets, but you have to do it one sheet at a time.

Setting a print area on multiple sheets separately ensures that you get the right data from each sheet. It’s a bit more work, but it pays off in accuracy.

How do I print the entire spreadsheet after setting a print area?

To print the entire spreadsheet, clear the print area by going to ‘Print Area’ and selecting ‘Clear Print Area.’

Clearing the print area removes the restrictions you’ve set, allowing the entire sheet to be printed again.

What happens if I save the Excel file with a set print area?

The print area will be saved with the file. The next time you open the file, the print area will still be there.

It’s like leaving a sticky note on your spreadsheet that says, “Print this part only!”

Can I set a print area that includes charts or images?

Yes, you can include anything in your print area that can be selected on the spreadsheet.

Charts and images can be important parts of your data presentation. Including them in the print area makes sure they’re printed alongside your data.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to set a print area?

There isn’t a direct shortcut, but you can press ‘Alt’ followed by ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘S’ to access the ‘Set Print Area’ command quickly.

Keyboard shortcuts can save you time, especially when you’re setting print areas frequently.


  1. Select the cells to print.
  2. Go to the ‘Page Layout’ tab.
  3. Click ‘Print Area’.
  4. Select ‘Set Print Area’.


Setting a print area in Excel is like giving your printer a treasure map with an ‘X’ marking the spot. It ensures that when you hit print, you’re only getting the gold—no extra dirt or rocks. Whether you’re printing financial reports, data analyses, or class schedules, knowing how to set a print area can make your printed documents look professional and to the point.

Remember, this feature is there to make your life easier. Play around with it, get comfortable, and soon it’ll be second nature to you. And if you need to change things up, Excel is forgiving. Setting a new print area or clearing it altogether is just as simple as the initial setup.

So next time you’re about to print, take a moment to set your print area. Your printer (and your wallet) will thank you for the saved resources. Happy printing!