Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting It On Paper— Printing in Excel 2010
C H A P T E R 9
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Getting It On Paper—
Printing in Excel 2010
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An efficiency expert intercepts a 911 call from a desperate
boss, be g g i n g he r to dr op e v e r y thi n g , don he r fl ak j acke t an d se n si bl e shoe s, an d zoom ov e r now to do
something about his workplace, overrun to the breaking point with unstoppable, rectangular blobs of
paper. Throwing caution to the winds, our fearless expert pokes through the debris, and after skidding
on a couple of 8½ x 11s and running her paper cuts under the water cooler, finally doffs her helmet and
announces hopefully: “It’s really very simple: All you need to do is just scan all these hard copies, and
burn them onto a couple of CDs; in a few hours you’ll be able to see your floor again.”
“Great idea!” exults the grateful boss. ”But just one thing: before I start scanning, let me make
some Xeroxes for backup…”
Pa pe r l e ss offi ce ? Pr oba bl y n ot your office, and probably not your home, either. They still make
Excel with the Print command, and sooner or later you’re going to have to beam that digital doc to your
local neighborhood output device and turn it into something you can actually hold in your hand and
spill coffee on. It’s retro, but true; you need to know how to print, and when you do, Excel makes it
pretty easy to navigate the transition from software to hard copy.
The first thing to understand about Excel printing is to know exactly how much of the workbook
you want to print. By default—that is, if you work with the initial print settings supplied by Excel—
carrying out the print command will print the entire worksheet (but not the entire workbook). And by
the entire worksheet, Excel means all the cells in the sheet containing data. And that means in turn that,
if you want to print the cells spanning A3:B20 and you’ve also squirreled a clandestine value in cell
X4578, Excel will print 258 pages or thereabouts. That’s because when it goes ahead with those default
print settings Excel prints all the empty space between the data-bearing cells in addition to those cells
you really want to print; it preserves the relation in space between all the cells from A3:B20 through
X4578. As a result, I’ll print 256 empty sheets in addition to the two that contain my values.
Of course, that’s an extreme—but not unprecedented—scenario. Worksheets can be teeming with
data, and even if those data are confined to one particular area of the worksheet—say, to a 20,000-row
table, of which you want to print just 500—going with the default print settings will get you 20,000 rows
wor th of pa pe r .
Hard Copy? Pretty Easy
Needless to say, Excel is happy to let you overrule its defaults, but it’s time we tried this all out.
Let’s call up the Sales by Year spreadsheet, and click on the 2010 tab, containing that small range of
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