How to View the Print Area in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

To view the print area in Excel 2010, you simply need to navigate to the “Page Layout” tab, and in the “Page Setup” group, click on “Print Area” and then “Set Print Area”. This will define the area of your spreadsheet that you want to print. Once you set the print area, it will be saved with the workbook, and you can adjust it at any time.

After completing this action, only the selected cells within the print area will be printed. This is helpful when you have a large spreadsheet but only need a specific section printed out.


Excel 2010, a powerful data manipulation software, has myriad features that enhance productivity and presentation. One such feature is the ability to set a specific print area within your spreadsheet. This functionality is particularly useful when dealing with extensive datasets where only a portion is relevant for printing.

Imagine this scenario: you’ve spent hours, if not days, meticulously compiling data, and now it’s time to report your findings. But there’s a problem – your dataset spans multiple pages, and you only need to print one section. This is where the print area feature comes in handy. It allows you to select the cells that are crucial to your report, thereby saving time, paper, and ultimately, the environment.

Whether you’re a student, an accountant, a scientist, or anyone who uses Excel to organize data, knowing how to view and set your print area is an essential skill. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of how to view the print area in Excel 2010.

Step by Step Tutorial to View the Print Area in Excel 2010

The following steps will guide you through setting and viewing the print area in Excel 2010.

Step 1: Open Your Spreadsheet

Open the Excel 2010 spreadsheet that you want to print.

Opening your spreadsheet is the first step. Ensure you have the correct file open before proceeding to the next steps to avoid any mistakes.

Step 2: Select the Range of Cells

Select the range of cells that you want to define as your print area.

Highlight the cells by clicking and dragging your mouse across the desired range. If you need to print non-adjacent cells, hold down the “Ctrl” key while making your selections.

Step 3: Set the Print Area

Navigate to the “Page Layout” tab, and in the “Page Setup” group, click on “Print Area” and then “Set Print Area”.

Once you’ve set the print area, Excel will remember this setting until you clear it or set a new print area.

Step 4: View the Print Area

To view the print area, simply ensure it’s still selected, or go back to the “Print Area” option and click “View Print Area”.

When you select “View Print Area,” Excel will highlight the area you’ve set for printing, making it easier to visualize what your printed document will look like.


Focused PrintingHaving a specific print area reduces waste by only printing the necessary data.
Time-savingIt streamlines the printing process, especially when dealing with large datasets.
Ease of UseThe print area feature is user-friendly and can be learned quickly, even by beginners.


Limited to SelectionYou can only print the cells you’ve selected, which means you need to ensure accuracy in your selection.
Not IntuitiveViewing the print area isn’t immediately obvious to new users, who might not know where to find it.
Potential for ErrorsIf not set correctly, you might end up printing the wrong selection, wasting time and resources.

Additional Information

Knowing how to view the print area in Excel 2010 can save you from the frustration of printing unwanted data. Remember, the print area can be a range of adjacent cells or non-adjacent cells. Non-adjacent cells will be printed on separate pages. For more complex printing options, you can also set multiple print areas by holding the “Ctrl” key and clicking “Set Print Area” for each new selection.

Another useful tip is to clear the print area if you want to print the entire sheet or set a new print area. You can do this by going back to “Page Layout,” “Print Area,” and then clicking “Clear Print Area.” Additionally, you can also use print preview to ensure that your print area is set exactly as you want it before printing.


  1. Open your Excel 2010 spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cells for your desired print area.
  3. Navigate to “Page Layout,” click “Print Area,” and then “Set Print Area.”
  4. View the print area by selecting “View Print Area” under the “Print Area” option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set a print area that includes non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can set a print area that includes non-adjacent cells by holding down the “Ctrl” key while selecting the cell ranges.

What happens if I forget to set a print area?

If you don’t set a print area, Excel will print your entire worksheet by default.

Can I save multiple print areas in the same Excel sheet?

Yes, you can save multiple print areas by setting them individually and Excel will keep them for the same sheet.

How do I clear a print area?

To clear a print area, go to “Page Layout,” click “Print Area,” and then select “Clear Print Area.”

Can I see a preview of my print area before printing?

Yes, you can use the “Print Preview” feature to see exactly how your print area will appear when printed.


Mastering the print area feature in Excel 2010 can drastically improve your productivity and printing efficiency. Whether you’re condensing reports or preparing data presentations, setting a print area ensures you only get what you need on paper. Remember, it’s not just about saving time; it’s also about being eco-friendly by reducing paper waste.

So, the next time you find yourself lost in a sea of data, remember these handy steps for viewing the print area in Excel 2010, and print smarter, not harder.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy