Fast Way To Select Print Area In Excel


Q. I regularly print many different sections of a large and complex spreadsheet. Since I don’t want to print the entire workbook, I must highlight the area to be printed and then, when I evoke the print menu, I click on Selection so that only the highlighted area is printed. As you can imagine, when you have many sections to print, it becomes tedious. Any suggestions?

A. I have two. First, highlight the area to be printed and click on File, Print Area , and then lock in the section you want printed by clicking on Set Print Area . When you evoke the print command, only that section will print. Of course, when you want to print a different area, you must go back to Print Area and click on Clear the Print Area . While that won’t save you much time, it will at least ensure you capture the right area.

To really save time, use Excel’s Name function to create a kind of catalog of areas that you repeatedly print. To do that, block the first area you want to print and highlight it. Then move your cursor up to the Name box, which is in the upper left corner of the worksheet, in this case labeled A1 because the cursor is in A1.

Type in a descriptive name for that highlighted area, replacing A1. I will name it Profit/Loss . Then, one after the other, highlight all the other areas in the worksheet and give each its own descriptive name.

When you’re ready to print, click on the Name box and search for the area you want to print. When it appears click on Selection and then Print .


That should speed up your selective printing operation.


An amplification

Many readers alerted me that one of my solutions to a question in the March column, while workable if you had enough stamina, was hardly the best way to solve the problem. A reader had sought a way to change his user ID, an identification that is automatically inserted when adding comments in Excel or Word. Several other readers wrote in to suggest a better way, which requires little more than a few mouse clicks. In Word, go to Tools, Options , and click on the User Information tag. Then just type the new name.

In Excel, go to Tools, Options, and after you click on the General tab, fill in the new name. What could be easier?




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