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Multiple Print Areas on a Single Printed Page

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Multiple Print Areas on a Single Printed Page.

Ingrid set up her worksheet just the way she wanted, and then defined two non-contiguous areas on the worksheet as her print area. She first selected A1:C5, then held down the Ctrl key as she selected E3:G5. This selection was then defined as the print area (File | Print Area | Set Print Area). When Ingrid printed the worksheet, each of the selected ranges (A1:C5 and E3:G5) printed, but they printed on separate sheets of paper. Ingrid was hoping to get them on a single sheet of paper.

This happens because Excel automatically prints separate ranges on separate sheets of paper; there is no way to configure Excel to do this printing differently. There are a couple of things you can try as workarounds, however.

First, you could print multiple pages per sheet of paper. Follow these steps:

  1. Set your two ranges as your print area, as you have already done.
  2. Choose Print from the File menu. Excel displays the Print dialog box.
  3. Make sure the destination printer is properly selected at the top of the dialog box.
  4. Click the Properties button. Excel displays the Properties dialog box for the selected printer.
  5. Browse through the available tabs and controls. You are searching for one that allows you to set multiple pages per sheet of paper. Set this control so that 2 pages are printed per sheet of paper.
  6. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  7. Click OK to print the worksheet.

The result, for most printers, is that Excel combines two printed pages on a single sheet of paper. It does this by reducing the size of each of the two pages and printing them in landscape mode on the page. If you cannot find a control that allows you to specify multiple pages per sheet (step 5), it may be that your printer driver doesn't offer this capability. In that case you won't be able to use this workaround and will have to try the next one.

The next solution involves simply creating a "print" worksheet. This sheet can contain references to the original data ranges, combining them on a single worksheet. You can then print the consolidation worksheet, as it will contain only the information you want sent to the printer.

A third option involves using the Camera tool. This tool allows you to capture dynamic "pictures" of different areas of your worksheet. The Camera tool is not available, by default, on any Excel toolbar. Instead, you need to add it to the toolbar. Choose Tools | Customize and make sure the Commands tab is displayed.

In the list of Categories, choose Tools, and then scroll through the Commands list until you find Camera. (Oddly enough, it has a small camera icon to the left of the command.) Drag the Camera command to a toolbar and drop it there. Close the Customize dialog box, and you are ready to use the Camera tool. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the range that you want to take a picture of. For instance, select A1:C5, the first part of the area you want to print.
  2. Click on the Camera tool. The mouse pointer changes to a large plus sign.
  3. Change to a different worksheet, preferably a blank one.
  4. Click where you want the top left-hand corner of the picture to appear. The picture is inserted as a graphic on the worksheet.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4, but select the other range you want printed (E3:G5).

Now you can manipulate the two pictures the same as you would any other graphic—stretch, resize, crop, or move them; whatever. The picture is not really a picture, however, even though it behaves as one. Instead, it is dynamic, meaning that if the contents of the original ranges are changed, then what is shown in the picture changes, as well. You can also print the worksheet containing the camera pictures, and they will appear on a single page.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2779) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Multiple Print Areas on a Single Printed Page.

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