The steps in this article are going to show you how to format a blank Excel spreadsheet so that it will print, with gridlines. We will cover the steps briefly at the top of this guide, then we will continue further below with additional information and pictures for the steps.
- Open Excel and create a new blank workbook.
- Select the cells that you want to print.
- Click the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.
- Click the Print Area button, then choose the Set Print Area option.
- Check the box to the left of Print under Gridlines in the Sheet Options section of the ribbon.
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets have long been difficult to print in a manner that makes them easy to read. You can adjust a number of options to fix this however, such as choosing to print your data with gridlines.
But even if you have gone through the various Page Setup menus in Excel and made all of the necessary changes, none of it is going to matter if you are trying to print a blank spreadsheet. Luckily this is something that you can do, but you need to take an extra step first. So continue reading below to find out how to print a blank Excel sheet with gridlines.
How to Print a Blank Excel Grid With Gridlines
The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel 2013, but the same method will work in most other versions of Excel. The situations where I ‘m typically printing gridlines on a blank spreadsheet are when I am performing a task where I need to write information into a grid format, such as taking a manual inventory, or keeping track of information where I don’t have a computer.
Essentially what we are doing in the guide below is manually defining the size of the spreadsheet, then adding gridlines. Typically Excel defines the size of your spreadsheet by the cells that contain data, then it prints those cells. When you try to print a worksheet that doesn’t contain any data, Excel isn’t going to print anything. By setting a Print Area we are forcing Excel to print the defined range of cells that we need.
Step 1: Open Excel and choose to create a new workbook.
Step 2: Click and on the top-left cell that you want to include in the blank grid, then drag your mouse to select the rest of the cells to include in the blank spreadsheet.
Step 3: Select the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.
Step 4: Click the Print Area button in the Page Setup section of the ribbon, then choose the Set Print Area option.
Step 5: Click the check box to the left of Print under Gridlines in the Sheet Options section of the ribbon.
You should now be able to click the File tab and then click Print to see a preview of how the blank sheet will look. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P to get to this Print menu instead. The resulting print out should be a blank Excel worksheet containing the number of blank rows and blank columns that you specified when you set the print area.
If you want to make some additional changes to your grid’s formatting, you can find many of those options by clicking the small Page Setup dialog button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the ribbon. This opens the Page Setup dialog box.
There you will find the menu shown below, where you will see a Page tab, a Margins tab, a Header/Footer tab, and a Sheet tab. The options on these tabs let you do things like set the orientation of the page, add information that repeats on each printed page, or specify the number of pages that the empty cells and blank rows should fit onto.
You can achieve a similar result if you choose to add cell borders rather than enabling the print option for gridlines. The Borders options are found on the Home tab, in the Font section of the ribbon. You are going to want to select the All Borders option.
Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.