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: Fitting Your Printout on a Page.

Fitting Your Printout on a Page

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 28, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


I can't tell you how many times I have gone to print a worksheet, only to have the very last column or the very last row spill over onto another page. This not only wastes paper, but it is very frustrating.

To get around this, Excel has a handy scaling feature that allows you to specify how many pages you want your printed output to occupy. You set the page dimensions, and Excel shrinks everything down so it fits in the specified area. To take advantage of this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Set up your worksheet as desired.
  2. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Page tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Page tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. Select the Fit To option and use the associated controls to specify how many pages you want the output to occupy.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Print your worksheet as normal.

One of the tricks I often use is to set the Fit To controls to 1 page wide by 99 pages tall. In this way, I am sure the output will fit on one page across. Since my output isn't over 99 pages in length, no shrinking is done on this dimension. I end up with output that is 1 page wide by how ever many pages long Excel needs to print.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3033) 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: Fitting Your Printout on a Page.

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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