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: Printing a Single Column in Multiple Columns.

Printing a Single Column in Multiple Columns

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2014)

Sometimes the data you collect in a worksheet fits very nicely into a single column. For instance, you may have a list of names, and they all are contained in column A of your worksheet. When you choose to print the worksheet, it can consume quite a few pages, all of them nearly blank as the left side of each page contains a name, and the right side contains white space.

In this type of instance, it would be nice to print the single column as if it were multiple columns. That way you could use more of each printed page and fewer overall pages for your print job. Unfortunately Excel contains no intrinsic command or print setting that allows you to automatically reformat your data so it prints better. There are workarounds, however.

One workaround that is often overlooked is just copying the single-column list to a blank Word document. If you paste it there as plain text, you can format each page for multiple columns and actually print the information.

If you would rather not involve Word, you can cut and paste information from the first column into other columns to give the desired number of printing columns. This, of course, should be done in a new worksheet or workbook, so that the original data remains undisturbed. As an example, if you have 200 names in your original list, you can cut 40 names at a time from the list and paste them into columns A through E of a new worksheet. Printing this worksheet requires less pages than printing the original single-column worksheet.

Of course, if you have to do this cut-and-paste often, the chore can quickly become tiresome. In this instance, you can use a macro that does the exact same thing: It slices and dices the original list and pastes it into a number of columns on a new workbook.

Sub SingleToMultiColumn()
    Dim rng As Range
    Dim iCols As Integer
    Dim lRows As Long
    Dim iCol As Integer
    Dim lRow As Long
    Dim lRowSource As Long
    Dim x As Long
    Dim wks As Worksheet

    Set rng = Application.InputBox _
      (prompt:="Select the range to convert", _
      Type:=8)
    iCols = InputBox("How many columns do you want?")
    lRowSource = rng.Rows.Count
    lRows = lRowSource / iCols
    If lRows * iCols <> lRowSource Then lRows = lRows + 1

    Set wks = Worksheets.Add
    lRow = 1
    x = 1
    For iCol = 1 To iCols
        Do While x <= lRows And lRow <= lRowSource
            Cells(x, iCol) = rng.Cells(lRow, 1)
            x = x + 1
            lRow = lRow + 1
        Loop
        x = 1
    Next
End Sub

When you run this macro, you are asked to select the range you want to convert, and then you are asked to specify the number of columns you want it to be reformatted as. It creates a new worksheet in the current workbook and copies information from the original into as many columns as you specified.

For additional resources to solve this problem, refer to the following Web sites:

http://www.ozgrid.com/VBA/MiscVBA.htm#Print
http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/snakecol.htm

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2219) 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: Printing a Single Column in Multiple Columns.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing an Entire Workbook by Default

Need to print an entire workbook? It's as easy as adding a single line of code to your macros.

Discover More

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Removing a Directory

Your macro, in the course of doing some processing, may create a directory that you later need to delete. Here's how to get ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Setting Header/Footer Margins

Do you find that there is a lot of extra space around that data on your worksheet when it is printed? Changing the margins in ...

Discover More

Adding the Set Print Area Tool

Spend a lot of time defining print areas in your workbooks? You might benefit by adding a Set Print Area tool that makes ...

Discover More

Locking the Print Area

Excel allows you to specify an area of your worksheet that should be printed. Here's how to "lock" that area so it cannot be ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share