Printing: Making it look like a spreadsheet

Up till now I’ve been talking about printing out tables, and usually most people don’t care what sort of program generated the table. It should look clean, it should not have a lot of extraneous information, and it should only have the borders you’ve deemed appropriate. Therefore, by default most spreadsheet program printouts don’t look the way they do on the screen, because they don’t include the gridlines and the headers. (I’m talking here about the sheet headers — the letters at the top of the columns, and the numbers at the left of the rows.)

Occassionally, however, you actually want it to look like a spreadsheet. Given my background the most obvious reasons I can think of to do this involve either showing someone how to do something in a spreadsheet, showing someone where something is located in a spreadsheet if there are lots of tables on a single sheet, or else using a printout to verify/check formulas. For the third option you’ll also need to be able to print formulas, and I’ll talk about how to do that next week.

Not all programs will give you the option to print out the headings and gridlines. For those that don’t, if you need to have those the best way is probably just to take a screenshot and print that out. However, there are some programs that make it very easy to include those things in the printout if you want them.

Here’s how to make various programs print a spreadsheet so it looks like a spreadsheet.

In Excel 97:

  1. Click on the header for the File menu or type alt-f.
  2. In the menu that opens, click on “Page setup” or type u.
  3. In the pop-up window, click on the “Sheet” tab.
  4. In the middle section, labeled “Print”, mark “Gridlines” and “Row and column headings”.
  5. Click “OK”.

In Excel 2007:

See Excel 2010.

In Excel 2010:

  1. Click on the “Page Layout” tab or type alt-p.
  2. Locate the “Page Setup” group, and click on the arrow in the lower right corner or type sp.
  3. Click on the “Sheet” tab.
  4. In the middle section, labeled “Print”, mark “Gridlines” and “Row and column headings”.
  5. Click “OK”.

-OR-

  1. Click on the “Page Layout” tab or type alt-p.
  2. Locate the “Sheet Options” group.
  3. Mark the “Print” boxes under “Gridlines” and “Headings”.

-OR-

  • Type alt-p-pg to toggle gridlines printing.
  • Type alt-p-ph to toggle headings printing.

In Google Spreadsheet:

Google Spreadsheet does not seem to allow you print the sheet headers, and prints the grid by default. You can remove the grid by marking the box next to “No gridlines” on the print screen.

In OpenOffice Calc:

  1. Click on the “Format” header or type alt-o.
  2. Click on “Page” or type p.
  3. In the middle section, labeled “Print”, mark the box next to “Column and row headers” and the box next to “Grid”.
  4. Click “OK”.

In Microsoft Works Spreadsheet:

  1. Click on the header for the File menu or type alt-f.
  2. In the menu that opens, click on “Page setup” or type u.
  3. In the pop-up window, click on the “Other Options” tab.
  4. Mark the box next to “Print gridlines”.
  5. Mark the box next to “Print row and column headers”.
  6. Click “OK”.