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: Black and White Blues.

Black and White Blues

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 24, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Excel allows you to create a colorful masterpiece on your screen. What you get when you print, however, depends entirely on the printer you are using. Some black-and-white printers do a great job of translating colors into shades of gray. Others, however, leave quite a bit to be desired in their output.

If you are having problems printing color Excel information on your black-and-white printer, try these steps:

  1. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Sheet tab is selected. (See Figure 1.) (If you selected a chart or were viewing a chart before starting these steps, there will not be a Sheet tab. In this case, select the Chart tab.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Black and White check box is selected.
  5. Click OK.

You are now ready to print, and you should do so as you normally would. You should notice a marked improvement in your printer output.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2848) 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: Black and White Blues.

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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