Using Print Preview

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 11, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


The Print Preview feature in Excel allows you to see how your worksheet will appear when it is printed. When you choose the Print Preview option that is available on the File menu, your screen changes significantly. The standard user interface is replaced with a minimal collection of tools, allowing the most space possible to display an exact representation of how your workbook will appear when printed.

If printing your workbook would result in more than a single page of output, you can page through the pages by pressing PgUp or PgDn or using the scroll bars. You can also use the Next and Previous buttons to move through the pages in your worksheet. When you finish, press Esc or click your mouse on the Close button to return to normal editing.

The legibility and value of the Print Preview feature depends, in large part, on the quality and size of the monitor you are using with your computer. If you have a larger monitor and you are using Windows in a high-resolution display mode, you might be able to read most of the type on the Print Preview display. If you are using a smaller monitor at a lower resolution, however, you will probably only be able to make out the largest type in your workbook.

You can overcome some of the "tiny type" syndrome by using the Zoom tool while in Print Preview. If you click on the Zoom button in legacy versions, Excel changes the mouse pointer to a magnifying glass. When you then click on any portion of the display, it is magnified so you can read the information on the screen easier.

If you decide you want an actual printed copy while you are using Print Preview, all you need to do is click on the Print button. You can get out of Print Preview by pressing Esc or clicking on Close.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2212) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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