Set Margins and Centering: MS Excel

Dennis Faas's picture

In Print Preview, you might notice that a single column of your worksheet flows onto a second page. Although you can scrunch it in by reducing the scaling percent or by turning the orientation to landscape, sometimes all you have to do is adjust the margins (I.E.: the distance between the edge of the paper and the printed information).

On the other hand: in Print Preview Mode, you might notice that a small worksheet looks awkward in the top-left corner of the page because the rest of the page is empty. You can center the small worksheet to the page without having to adjust the margins.

You can change margin settings two ways: by typing the exact measurements into a dialog box, or by dragging boundary lines in Print Preview by eye.

For the most attractive page, you should strive to have the appropriate balance between the worksheet and the surrounding white space.

Using the Dialog Box

In the dialog box, you can specify exact measurements for margins.

  • Choose File | Page Setup.
  • Click the Margins tab to access the dialog box.
  • Click the arrows to specify the margins (in inches) for the four sides of the page. (Header and footer measurements must be smaller than the margin settings.
  • Click the check boxes if you want horizontal or vertical centering. You can see a preview of this effect in the dialog box. Click OK.

The distance between the printing and the edge of the page is increased or decreased, depending on the measurements you select.

Setting Margins in Print Preview Mode

In Print Preview, you can adjust the margins by eye.

  • Click the Print Preview button or chose File | Print Preview.
  • Click the Margins button.

Boundary lines for the margins will appear, as well as handles denoting each of the non-empty columns. Place the mouse pointer over the lines or handles until it turns into a two-headed arrow and drag to adjust the width of margins or columns.

Unlike using the dialog box, when you drag to change the margins or column widths in Print Preview, the changes occur immediately so you can see them on screen. To undo changes in the margins or column widths, close Print Preview and click the Undo button one or more times.

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