How to Show Page Breaks in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

To show page breaks in Excel 2010, go to the ‘View’ tab, select ‘Page Break Preview,’ and adjust the page breaks as needed. This quick action will allow you to see and manipulate where pages will end when printed.

After completing this action, Excel will display your spreadsheet in Page Break Preview mode. Dotted lines will represent automatic page breaks, while solid lines indicate manual page breaks that you have inserted. This view makes it easier to see how your data will be divided across printed pages.


When working with Microsoft Excel, one of the common tasks is to prepare a spreadsheet for printing. This often involves organizing data in a way that it fits neatly onto a page without cutting off important information. One crucial step in this process is to show page breaks within your Excel 2010 workbook. But why is this important?

Page breaks are essential for visualizing how your data will be distributed across different pages when printed. This visualization allows you to make adjustments beforehand, ensuring that tables do not get cut in half and headings stay with their corresponding data. It is particularly relevant for those who regularly work with large datasets or create reports that need to be shared in hardcopy format.

For many, Excel is an everyday tool used for a variety of tasks ranging from simple calculations to complex data analysis. Knowing how to show page breaks can save you from the frustration of printing mishaps, which can waste both time and resources. Let’s dive into the steps to show page breaks in Excel 2010 and make your printing process smoother and more efficient.

Step by Step Tutorial to Show Page Breaks in Excel 2010

Before we get started with the steps, it’s important to note that showing page breaks will help you organize your data better for print. It’ll give you a clear view of which data points are on which page, and allow you to adjust the layout accordingly.

Step 1: Open Your Workbook

Open the Excel 2010 workbook that you want to work with.

This is the initial step to any task you want to accomplish in Excel. You need to have your data in front of you to manipulate it.

Step 2: Go to the ‘View’ Tab

Click on the ‘View’ tab in the Excel ribbon.

The ‘View’ tab contains various tools to change how you see your spreadsheet on the screen.

Step 3: Select ‘Page Break Preview’

In the ‘Workbook Views’ group, select ‘Page Break Preview’.

Upon selecting this view, you will see your spreadsheet with the current page breaks displayed as blue dashed lines.

Step 4: Adjust Page Breaks as Needed

Drag the page breaks to adjust them, or click on ‘Insert Page Break’ if you need to add a new one.

To insert a manual page break, you can click on a cell and then select ‘Breaks’ > ‘Insert Page Break’ from the ‘Page Layout’ tab. Manual breaks are shown as solid lines.


Better organization for printShowing page breaks helps you organize your data on the page, ensuring important information is not cut off during printing.
Saves time and resourcesBy adjusting page breaks before printing, you avoid wasting paper and ink on poorly formatted printouts.
Enhanced visual layout controlPage Break Preview mode gives you a clear view of how your data is laid out across pages, allowing you to make better design decisions.


May be confusing at firstFor new users, understanding the difference between automatic and manual page breaks may be overwhelming.
Can disrupt workflowSwitching to Page Break Preview mode changes the view of your data, which may interrupt your workflow if you’re not used to it.
Limited to printingWhile useful for print layout, showing page breaks does not benefit users who primarily share their spreadsheets digitally.

Additional Information

While the steps above will guide you through showing page breaks in Excel 2010, there are a few additional tips and insights that may enhance your experience. First, remember that Excel automatically calculates page breaks based on your current print settings. If you change your printer or adjust your page size, margins, or orientation, Excel will reflow your content and adjust the page breaks accordingly.

Another point to note is that you can remove manual page breaks by going to ‘Breaks’ in the ‘Page Layout’ tab and selecting ‘Remove Page Break’. However, automatic page breaks are not as easily manipulated. Excel determines these based on the data’s layout and the print settings, so you would need to adjust your data layout or settings to change automatic breaks.


  1. Open your workbook in Excel 2010.
  2. Click on the ‘View’ tab.
  3. Select ‘Page Break Preview’.
  4. Adjust page breaks manually if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between manual and automatic page breaks?

Manual page breaks are the ones you insert yourself, while automatic page breaks are determined by Excel based on your print settings and the layout of your data.

Can I save the Page Break Preview layout?

Yes, Excel will remember your manual page break adjustments the next time you open the workbook.

What if I want to remove a page break?

You can remove manual page breaks by going to the ‘Page Layout’ tab, selecting ‘Breaks’, and then ‘Remove Page Break’.

Why can’t I move some page breaks?

Some page breaks are automatic and are determined by Excel. You can’t move these unless you change the layout of your data or your print settings.

Can I use Page Break Preview in other versions of Excel?

Yes, Page Break Preview is available in other versions of Excel, although the steps to access it may vary slightly.


In conclusion, showing page breaks in Excel 2010 is a fundamental skill for anyone who needs to print their data. It allows you to make informed decisions about the layout of your content, ensuring a professional and readable printout. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or someone who just loves to be organized, mastering page breaks is a surefire way to enhance your Excel proficiency.

Remember, a well-organized spreadsheet not only reflects well on you but also makes information easier to consume for your audience. So go ahead, give it a try, and take your printing game to the next level!

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