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: Locking the Print Area.

Locking the Print Area

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 7, 2016)

Karolyne shares workbooks with other people. Once in a while those people will, without knowing it, make changes to a worksheet that results in many, many pages being printed. Karolyne is looking for a way to set a print area in such a way that it is "locked" and could not be changed or removed.

There are a couple of things you can try. First, you can set your print area and then apply worksheet protection that allows only some of the cells in the worksheet to be selected. This will preclude those strange changes that result in huge printouts. It won't, however, stop someone from changing the print area so it includes only those unprotected cells.

The only way to "protect" the print area is to use a macro that will force the desired print area. One natural place to enforce this is just before printing. The following event handler (added to the ThisWorkbook module) will change the print area for worksheet Sheet1 to the range A1:C25:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforePrint(Cancel As Boolean)
    Worksheets("Sheet1").PageSetup.PrintArea = "A1:C25"
End Sub

This approach will only work, obviously, if the user enables macros when the workbook is opened. You can change the specified sheet name and range as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3847) 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: Locking the Print Area.

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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