I was fiddling with a very large and ungainly spreadsheet this morning. Just bad setup, period. I was trying to figure out how in the world to keep track of what was supposed to show up in print preview, and what was actually showing up. Here's what helped.
Use the Print Column and Row Headers feature.
Choose Format > Page, click the Sheet tab, and under Print, select Print Column and Row Headers. Here's what the window looks like; click this and any other image if you want to see a bigger version.
Here's what the spreadsheet looks like in Page Preview (File > Page Preview) with that option marked.
Print the Grid for Readability
Another handy option for readability is to print the grid. The option is in the same window; choose Format > Page, click the Sheet tab, and in the Print area, mark the Grid option.
Repeat Column and Row Headings
I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. You can repeat columns and/or rows on each page by using the print range feature. It's very handy to have that data repeat. Here's what a spreadsheet looks like without the feature, and with it.
Choose Format > Print Ranges > Edit. Click in the dropdown by the Rows to Repeat and select User-Defined, then click in the field next to it. Then, in the spreadsheet itself, click on the cells of the rows you want to repeat. Click in A1 to repeat just the first row, for instance; select A1 and A2 to repeat two rows on every page.
Do the same for columns. Click in A1 to repeat one column; select A1 and B1 to repeat two columns, and so on.
Here's what the window would look like if you wanted to repeat two rows and one column on every page. You can also type, as you see: $1 for row one; type $1:$2 for rows 1 and 2. Type $A for column A; type $A:$B for columns A and B, type $A:$D to repeat columns A through D; and so on.
Use the Page Break Preview
This really helped me this morning with the unwieldy spreadsheet. Choose View > Page Break Preview.
This is what a big view of the spreadsheet looks like in this view. Click it to see the screen shot full size.
If you have blank areas of the spreadsheet displayed, the page numbers might not match what's in page preview or what prints. However, the page breaks will be correct.
When you want to go back to normal view, choose View > Normal.
If you want to insert the page breaks manually, click to insert the break, and choose Insert > Manual Break > Row Break, or Insert > Manual Break > Column Break.
Print Across and Down, or Down Then Across
Remember that with big spreadsheets, you can choose to print two ways:
- Print the first chunk of rows in their entirety, across all the columns, and then come back to print the next chunk of rows
Print the first chunk of columns in their entirety, across all the rows and then come back to print the next chunk of columns
You can set this by choosing Format > Page, clicking the Sheet tab, and making the appropriate selection at the top of the window.
And Finally: Use the Shortcut Between Page Preview and Page Setup
You will probably be in Page Preview mode a lot (choose File > Page Preview). You'll also spend time in the Page styles window setting various options in the sheet tab. You might think you need to close the page preview mode, then go to the page setup window by choosing Format > Page. You can, but it's much quicker to just click the Page button while you're in Page Preview. That'll take you to the page setup window. Change your options there, then click OK and you'll pop back to the page preview window, with the changes you just made reflected in the view.
So: Choose File > Page Preview.
And click the Page button below to go to the page setup window.