Speeding Up Printing

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 20, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you have a slower-than-desired laser printer, you may despair (or take a lunch break) whenever you need to print multiple copies of a multi-page worksheet. For instance, it can take a long time to print five copies of a three-page worksheet.

The reason for this is that Excel, by default, sends each worksheet individually. Thus, pages 1 through 3 are sent, then 1 through 3 are sent again, and again, until all five sets have been printed.

With slow laser printers, you could get your output much faster if you turned off collating on your printout. This means that page 1 would be printed five times, then page 2 five times, and finally five copies of page 3. You will have to manually collate your output, but there is a good chance you can do this faster than your laser printer could print the five copies.

To turn off collating in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Print from the File menu. Excel displays the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  3. Change the Number of Copies setting to reflect the number of copies you want to print.
  4. Make sure the Collate check box is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

The reason this works is that with collation turned off, Excel sends only a single copy of each page, along with a command that tells how many copies of each page to print. The laser printer then does its printing from memory. The result is that only three pages are transferred to the printer instead of the original fifteen (three times five) for the collated sets.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3238) 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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