Excel Print Ranges
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Many users are not quite sure exactly how Excel determines what range to print when the Printer Tool used. Here's a quick review:
As mentioned above, Excel prints the entire sheet by default as Active Sheet(s) is always the default and cannot be changed by the user until your open this dialog box.
Clicking on the Printer Tool , is the same as File Print (in the menu) and, as we have already seen, the entire sheet will print.
The reason for this is that Excel assumes the user has one print range on a sheet and it is saving you time by having Active Sheet(s) pre-selected. If you do no not select a range to print, Excel determines the location of all cells that contains data and prints them. There is no need to highlight the range, Excel knows where all the data is. This is a great feature, assuming you only have one print range!
Now, let's assume you have two print ranges, perhaps Division 1 Sales in the range A1:G50 and Division 2 Sales in the range A75:G130. Even though you think of your sheet having two print ranges, Excel thinks you have one: A1:G130. When you select File Print (or click on the Print Tool), both divisions will print (and any blank cells in between. The trick here is to highlight the desired print range and define it as the Print Area.
Now, back to the basic rule that Excel prints the entire sheet. This is not entirely true. If no Print Area has been set, then the entire sheet is printed. But, if a Print Area has been set, then Selected Sheet(s) means print only the Print Area on that sheet.
So now your printing procedures are to:
Division 1 will print as
it is the Print Area. The only way to print Division 2 would be to select
the range and then click on File Print (in the menu) and click on Selection
or set this new range as your Print Area.
I hope this explanation was not too wordy, but I have seen countless users, both at their workstations and in training classes not understanding these concepts. In summary:
These steps work in Excel 95 and later. Excel 5 does not have a Set Print area menu selection, making this task more difficult.
To remove the Print Area simply click on Clear Print Area menu choice
Print Area is a Defined (range)
Name which shows up in the Name List as Print_Area and can be treated accordingly.
Other articles discuss Defined Names in more detail.
For those users who use Defined Names the following is good set of procedure for printing: