Problems Printing Spreadsheets in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on April 6, 2023

This tutorial goes over some of the problems you may encounter while printing spreadsheets in Excel and Google Sheets and how to fix them.


printingproblems intro


Excel Didn’t Find Anything to Print

If Excel is not printing what you intended, or giving you the message, We didn’t find anything to print in Print Preview (see the picture above), it could be as simple as clearing and setting the correct print area in the spreadsheet you are trying to print.

  1. With your spreadsheet selected, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Page Setup > Print Area > Clear Print Area.


printingproblems clear print area


    1. Highlight the area of the spreadsheet you wish to print, and then, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Page Setup > Print Area > Set Print Area.


printingproblems set print area


Blank Pages

If you find that Print Preview is showing a blank page, this could also be a case of the print area not being set correctly. For example, look at the scenario below.


printingproblems blank page


If you return to Excel, you can see on the screen that the print area extends beyond the actual cells that are being used in the spreadsheet. To fix this, you can clear and set the print area as shown in the section above, or you can change the view of your spreadsheet and adjust the print area on the screen.

  1. In the bottom-right corner of your screen, click Page Break Preview.


printingproblems page break preview


  1. Position your mouse at the bottom-right corner of the area enclosed by a blue line, and then drag up and inwards toward the range you want to print. Your mouse should resemble a double-headed black arrow.


printingproblems drag page break


  1. Release the mouse to set the print area.


printingproblems page area


  1. In the bottom-right corner of your screen, click the Normal view icon.


printingproblems normal view


  1. Now if you go to Print Preview, only a single page appears – the blank page has been removed.


printingproblems one page


Rows / Columns to Repeat Grayed Out

Often if you have a spreadsheet that goes over multiple pages, you want to repeat the rows at the top, or columns to the right of your data. You may, however, find that these options have been grayed out and are therefore not available when you try to set them. This happens if you are in Print Preview and try to go to Page Setup from Print Preview.


printing problems sheet rows


  1. To solve this problem, you would need to cancel out of the Page Setup dialog box, and then exit the Print Menu by clicking on the left pointing arrow in the top-right corner of your screen.


printing problems return to screen


  1. Then, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Print Titles.


printing problem ribbon print titles


  1. This opens the Page Setup dialog box on the Sheet tab. You can now set your rows or columns to repeat.


printing problem print titles


Print Area Grayed Out

A similar problem can occur where the print area range grayed out in the Page Setup dialog box if you are already in Print Preview when you click Page Setup.


printingproblems print area grayed out


To prevent this problem always go to Page Setup from the Ribbon and not from within the print menu.

Content Is Split Across Pages

You might find, in Print Preview, that the range of cells you wish to print overlaps to a second page when you want it on one page.


printing problems two pages


To scale the page to fit only on one page, you can choose Fit Sheet on One Page from the Settings menu.


printing problems scale


This scales your document, making the text size slightly smaller, so that the entire range of cells fits on one page.


printing problems fittoapage


Page Orientation Incorrect

The orientation of your spreadsheet may also be causing the spreadsheet to not print correctly. When you preview your document, it may run over more pages that you would like it to if the orientation is set to Landscape for example, instead of Portrait.


printingproblems landscape


  1. While in Print Preview, you can change the orientation to Portrait in the Settings menu.


printingproblems preview portrait


  1. Alternatively, from the main Excel screen, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Orientation > Portrait.


printingproblems ribbon portrait


Other Reasons for Printing Problems

There are a number of other reasons that your printing is not working correctly. For example:

Problems Printing Spreadsheets in Google Sheets

When you click the Print button in Google Sheets, it takes you to a print preview. If the sheet is not displaying as it should, you can use the Print Settings to adjust how your document is displayed.

Print Area Incorrect

By default, Google Sheets displays your whole sheet.


printing problems gs whole sheet


To print only a section of your sheet:

  1. Select the range of cells you wish to print and then, in the Menu, click the Print button.


printingproblems gs print


  1. In Print settings, choose that you only wish to print the selected cells from the Print drop down.


printingproblems gs range


Sheet Orientation Incorrect

Use the Page orientation setting to toggle between Portrait and Landscape.


printingproblems gs orientation


Scale Incorrect

You can scale your document to fit to a single page if you wish.


printingproblems gs scale

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