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Excel 2min Tip #5. How to print just a part of your worksheet By David Carter

8th May 2007
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Sometimes you want to print just a part of your worksheet, not all of it.

The slow way is to highlight the area you want to print, then use the Set Print Area option.

The quick way is to highlight the area you want to print, then:

File - Print – at bottom left, change from Active Sheet to Selection – Print Preview - Print.

More Excel tips from David Carter
2min Tip 1: Sort data with the =RIGHT function
2 min Tip 2: Use & to combine two columns into one
2min Tip 3: Create a run-time filter when importing into Excel
ExcelZone's Five Minute Pivot Table Tips - Index

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Replies (4)

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By John Snowden
18th May 2007 14:34

Well, I am not at all sure
that this suggestion is quicker! Whichever approach we take we have to highlght the area, but Alt+F,T enter and Alt+F,V or Alt+F,P,enter seems to me at least as quick - virtually instantaneous, indeed - and no slower than the suggestion..... Am I missing something?
(By the way, I've always thought mice to be very inefficient tools and I have onlly two hands anyway!)

Thanks (0)
By Richard Willis
18th May 2007 17:54

Put the button on your toolbar!
My FD told me some years ago that the best tip that I had ever given him was to put the 'Set Print Area' button on your toolbar.
This can be done via Menu/Tools/Customize/Commands Tab. You just drag any required buttons up to where you want them on the toolbar. I always have the Set P.A. button next to the existing Print button. This way a selction is simply highlighted, click Set P.A., click Print.

Drag and two mouse clicks - Job done!

I also add the Page Setup Button which also saves a lot of faffing about.

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By David Carter
19th May 2007 08:30

Set Print Area is a historical relic
John, maybe Alt-T, Alt-P etc is quicker, but my way is a lot easier to remember!

The Set Print Area option is a historical relic from the days of Lotus 1-2-3 when we didn't have mice and everything had to be driven through the keyboard..

People shouldn't be using Set Print Area at all (even with Richard's excellent tip) because printing a particular section of a worksheet is a visual activity and should be done via the mouse, not via keyboard commands.

I put in the tip because the command sequence of: 1-Highlight the section - 2:Print - 3:change to Print this selection is counter-intuitive.

[Question: if the Print this Selection option already existed, would MS feel the need to add a Set Print Area option to the menus? Of course they wouldn't!]

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By John Snowden
21st May 2007 11:55

David - I find that alt-this and alt-that does not need to be remembered at all! It has become automatic, and again does not require fooling around with a mouse. Be that as it may, each to his/her own!

In passing, one problem I get and have never found a solution to is, when printing a whole sheet, sometimes Excel insists on printing an area much greater than that which appears to be used. It is as if there is a cell with invisible content way futher down than the actual content appears to go. I have never found a way of clearing this up, when it happens, and it forces the use of Set Print Area which otherwise would not be needed. A thorough nuisance it is, too! Does anybody know of a solution to this?

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