Setting a print area lets you define the section in your spreadsheet that will be included in the printout.
There are times when you need to print out your reports, and this can easily be achieved by hitting a couple of keys on your keyboard. However, if you don’t know how to configure some settings, you may end up printing more than you need to.
This is obviously a waste of resources, but you can prevent it by setting up a print area.
In this article, we will show you four methods on how you can set a print area in Google Sheets.
Let’s get started!
A Real Example of Setting a Print Area
Let’s consider this situation. You’re keeping a spreadsheet containing all the personal information about the employees in your company.
Now, the management wants you to extract and print out the basic details including only the ID number, name, and address of employees.
There are numerous ways to do this. You may have considered copying the first four columns, pasting them on a new sheet, and then printing the new sheet. While this gets the job done, it’s actually an inefficient method.
The best way to achieve this in Google Sheets is to set a print area. This saves you the trouble of having to open and work on another worksheet.
Now, let’s talk about how you can set a print area. If you would like to follow along, I recommend that you open a spreadsheet or click the link below to make a copy of my spreadsheet.
Setting the Current Sheet or Workbook as the Print Area
On many occasions, you might want to set only one sheet or your entire workbook as your print area. In this case, there isn’t much you need to do aside from a simple configuration before printing. Now, let’s get right to it.
- First, open the spreadsheet that you need to print or use the spreadsheet provided above if you just want to practice.
- Suppose you want to print a specific sheet, make it active by clicking its name at the bottom of the interface.
- Next, click the Print button on the Toolbar to show the Print settings window.
- On the right side of the Print settings window, click the Print drop-down button to view additional options.
- From the list, click the option that suits your need:
- Current sheet – Select this option if you only want to print the active sheet on your workbook.
- Workbook – Choose this option to print your entire workbook.
- Once your option has been configured, you’ll get a preview of how your data will be printed. Proceed with the printing process by clicking the Next button.
Setting a Cell Range as the Print Area
An excellent feature of Google Sheets is that it lets you print a highlighted group of cells immediately. When you have a large dataset and you need to extract and print a small portion of it, consider this method.
Here’s how to do it.
- With the spreadsheet already open, highlight the group of cells you would like to print. In our case below, cell range A1:E11 is selected.
- The next thing we have to do is to display the Print settings window. You can do this by clicking the Print button on the Toolbar. Alternatively, you can press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P.
- At this point, you can already configure the print area. Click the Print drop-down button and select the Selected cells option. You will see a preview of the data before you can print it.
Customizing Page Breaks
Adjusting the page breaks also allows you to set a print area. Additionally, it lets you control how the content gets separated across pages before printing.
For example, in a worksheet that contains 100 records, you can adjust the page breaks to include 20 records per page. By doing so, you’ll get an equal distribution of records between each page.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Open the spreadsheet and press Ctrl + P to display the Print settings window.
- On the right side of the Print settings window, find and click the link that says SET CUSTOM PAGE BREAKS. Upon clicking, your screen should look like this.
- Across the worksheet, you can see broken blue lines. Use these lines to divide the entire worksheet into pages. Drag the lines and drop them where you want to place the page breaks. In the example below, a page break was positioned below the 25th row. Be sure to adjust all the page breaks so that your pages will look neat.
- After adjusting the page breaks, click the CONFIRM BREAKS button to save your changes. Finally, you can print your spreadsheet.
Customizing the Page Layout
You can also customize the layout of your page to adjust your print area. The Print settings window offers additional settings to achieve this. Here, you can set the size, scale, and margins of your page.
The following steps will guide you through adjusting the layout.
- First, you need to display the Print settings window. Do it by pressing Ctrl + P on your keyboard.
- A page layout can be customized through the settings found on the right side of the interface. Click the Paper size drop-down button and choose the size that corresponds to the actual paper size that you will print the data on. As you change the size, you’ll notice on the preview that the print area will also adjust.
- You can also rescale the print area to fit the page’s width and/or height. Just click on the Scale drop-down button and select the desired option.
- Consider changing the margins if you also need to adjust the blank spaces on the sides of the page. To do this, click the Margins drop-down button and choose your preferred type of margin.
- When you’re done with the layout customization, click Next to begin printing.
That’s about it when it comes to setting a print area in Google Sheets. You just learned four methods, and now you don’t have to worry about fixing the layout of your data before printing.
Learn more about Google Sheets by checking out our guides on the different Google Sheets formulas.