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Using Less Paper on Printouts

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: Using Less Paper on Printouts.

I've got a worksheet that has data in only the first column. In fact, I use cells A1:A100 to store this data. When I print it, the printout uses many pages, but only the left side of each page actually had information in it. If you have the same problem, you may be wondering if there is a way to print the data in columns on a single sheet of paper.

Unfortunately, there is no simple command you can use or magic Wizard you can call up to format the information for printing in columns. Instead, you must manually work with the data a little bit. The first approach would be to use the following steps. (These steps assume you have data that is only one column wide by 100 rows deep.)

  1. In cell B2, enter the formula "=A26".
  2. In cell C2, enter the formula "=A51".
  3. In cell D2, enter the formula "=A76".
  4. Copy cells B2:D2 down to row 25.

Your data is now in four columns, without the original data being disturbed. Format your columns to the necessary width, place a page break just before row 26, and print just the first page of your data.

Another option is to utilize the Camera tool, which has been discussed in other issues of ExcelTips. Simply select the information that will appear in the three extra columns, snap the Camera, and place the resulting graphic on the page to be printed.

If you are familiar with other Office tools, you could also copy your entire data table (all 100 rows) to the Clipboard and paste it into Word. You can then format the information in Word to use columns and print as desired. (You can also place headers and footers on your data easier within Word than you can in Excel.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3215) 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: Using Less Paper on Printouts.

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