Preventing Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2016)

If you are working with a sensitive worksheet, you may wonder if it is possible to prevent a user from actually printing the worksheet. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way short of making sure the user doesn't have a printer attached to their system.

You can, depending on your version of Excel, customize the program so the print-related commands are removed from the toolbars and menus. You can also replace Excel's built-in print commands with commands that do nothing. However, that doesn't stop people from actually doing a screen print of what is on the computer screen, thereby ending up with the information on a printout. In addition, people could bypass executing the macros by disabling them when the workbook is loaded. Another way around such customizations is for the user to simply copy text from the print-inhibited worksheet and paste it into a new worksheet that has no such customizations. The worksheet could then easily be printed.

You can also try non-Excel solutions, such as using Adobe Acrobat to create a protected PDF file that cannot be printed. However, even then the user could still do a screen print of what they see.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3323) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Locating the My Documents Folder

Need to do some macro processing of documents in the user's My Documents folder? First step is to figure out where the ...

Discover More

Formatting Partial Results of a Search

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are, simply, quite astounding. This is particularly true when using wildcard ...

Discover More

Fonts Missing in Word

What are you to do if you find that you have no fonts available in Word, but they are available in other programs? There ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Specifying a Print Tray for a Worksheet

If you need to modify where a worksheet is printed (meaning, which paper tray it should use), Excel doesn't provide a lot ...

Discover More

Printing More Than One Copy

Need to print more than a single copy of a worksheet? You can do it easily by using the controls in the Print dialog box.

Discover More

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
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

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

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.

Newest Tips
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.