Printout Doesn't Match Display for Some Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 6, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2785) 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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