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Printout Doesn't Match Display for Some Cells

Kathy developed a protected worksheet that allows users to input data into certain cells. The data in some of the input cells shows fine in the worksheet; the contents appear on a single line. When viewing the worksheet in Print Preview or printing the worksheet, however, the text that doesn't wrap on the screen wraps in the printout. Kathy was wondering how to make sure that the printout matches what she sees when she looks at the worksheet on the screen.

Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done to correct this situation; Excel isn't terribly strong in the "what you see is what you get" department. This is very frustrating for many users; the problem most likely boils down to the difference between screen and printer resolution. When Excel calculates column width for the screen, there is enough room for the text on a single line, but when it calculates column width for the printer (at a different resolution than the screen), there is not enough room. The only solution is to widen the offending column, slightly, on the screen.

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Comments for this tip:

Roger    17 Sep 2016, 15:32
Copied spreadsheet to Word and it gave the correct preview. The problem is Excel.
Jim Swindle    16 Feb 2016, 09:18
In one document, I tried lots of different things; it would still print as if some rows were not tall enough.

I set Excel to fit all columns on one page. It then magically worked.
billy    05 Nov 2015, 23:19
what is the probable problem when i can print on my MS WORD but would not print on MS Excel?
and how would it be fixed?
thank you.
more power.
Mac    13 Aug 2015, 11:30
The text size of one of the rows became very large in the printout. The font size was set at 10, but it changed to at least 3 times of the normal size. Other rows were fine. When I changed the size of that row to 9, it printed OK. Any ideas of what went wrong?
Barb    04 Aug 2015, 10:47
Using a high resolution monitor setting for vision impairment. Gridlines and borders are visible on the monitor screen but do not print. They are set to print in Excel 2010 but do not. OS is Windows 7 Home premium.
Jane Cork    30 Jun 2015, 05:42
where got? i get very good print out use Excell. Best and I use for everything for my job.
Alf    08 Apr 2014, 09:39

Something that did work for me on Excel 2007 for Windows (using Windows XP):

Select the wrapped cells that are not showing correctly on the print preview.
Make a note of the font, alignment, borders, and other format options that you want to have on these cells.
On the "home" ribbon, find the group of commands "style", and within this group, the icon "cell styles".
On the window that opens, on the top left, left click on the box called "normal" to apply this style to the selected cells, then right click on the same box "normal, select "modify" and apply the formats that you want for the selected cells.

In my case, this fixed the problem: the print preview showed the full content of the wrapped text cell.

Best regards
Cas    26 Oct 2013, 05:46
Many thanks for the information! It works for me if I lower the printing quality to 96 dpi in the page setup. Many thanks!
Pete Conroy    03 Jul 2013, 20:27
I've used Excel 2007 and 2010 extensively. Both have the wrapping problem when printing. The comment from Thomas about it working on the Mac is interesting, since the problem may be (Microsoft!) Windows related. This inexcusable problem, however, has been around for years. When I encounter a print wrapping problem, which is unpredictable, the only recourse I have is to copy the print area in Excel and paste it into a table in Word. At least in Word the wrapping works.
Tom Bates    05 Jun 2013, 09:19
I'm sure you're right about differing resolutions being the issue.

The way I've addressed this (admittedly only a few times) is to zoom in, say to 200%, and recheck the relevant cells; I adjust the column width until the wrapping is the way I want it on both the screen and the printer.
kenstan    03 Jun 2013, 10:33
My issue is a little different. When printing or emailing worksheets containing multiple formatted boxes the recieptant's worksheet shows incomplete formatting. The box outlines are incomplete.
Thomas Papavasiliou    03 Jun 2013, 01:41
I think that this problem is related in Excel for Windows.
I tried to repeat the print in Excel for Mac and it worked fine.

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