MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Changing the scale of the printing

Oftentimes, especially with one- or two-page printouts, you can solve paging problems by making a slight adjustment to the printing scale. Excel offers two controls for scaling the size of the printing in your report, both of which are located on the Page tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

You can use the Adjust To option button and associated text box to set the printing at a particular magnification (between 10% and 400% of normal). When modifying the scale of the printing, you can either enter this new percentage into this text box or select it with its spin buttons.

Perhaps more practical, at least in the case of printouts with few pages, is the Fit To control, which gives Excel the responsibility for selecting the scale of the printing in order to fit a set number of pages. When you select the Fit To option button, you can then select the final number of pages in the report by designating the number of pages in the Page(s) Wide and Tall text boxes.

When deciding what values to enter or select for the Wide and Tall text boxes, refer to the original page layout that Excel came up with in the Page Break Preview display and then adjust its number of pages across (wide) and down (tall) accordingly. If, for example, you find that the original page layout had five pages across with two down and that there were just a couple of columns of data appearing alone on the last two pages (9 and 10), you could then dispense with those last two pages by selecting the Fit To option button and then entering 4 in the Page(s) Wide text box and 2 in the Tall text box. Excel would then reduce the size of the printing as necessary to achieve this new layout, and you could then verify the page breaks in this new eight-page report layout before sending it to the printer.

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