Why is My Spreadsheet Printing So Small in Excel 2013? – Troubleshooting Tips

Printing a spreadsheet in Excel 2013 only to find that it’s smaller than expected can be a source of frustration. But don’t worry, it’s a common problem with a simple solution. By adjusting the scaling options in Excel, you can ensure your spreadsheet prints out at the size you need. Simply navigate to the Page Layout tab, then adjust the scale settings under the Scale to Fit group.

After completing this action, your spreadsheet should print at the correct size, making it easier to read and more professional in appearance.


We’ve all been there – you’ve spent hours working on a spreadsheet, it’s finally perfect, and you’re ready to print. But when the paper comes out of the printer, the content is so small it’s unreadable. What gives? Printing in Excel can be a bit of a dark art, with various settings hiding in plain sight, capable of throwing off your whole document. And when it comes to Excel 2013, understanding these settings is key to getting a printout that looks just the way you want it to.

Knowing how to adjust print settings is important for anyone who uses Excel, from students handing in assignments to professionals presenting data to colleagues. It ensures that your hard work translates correctly from screen to paper. Plus, it saves paper and ink, which are both good for your wallet and the environment. Let’s unravel this mini mystery and get your spreadsheets printing perfectly.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adjusting Print Size in Excel 2013

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that following them will help you adjust the print size of your spreadsheet. This ensures that when you print your document, it reflects the correct size and layout that you see on your screen.

Step 1: Open the Page Layout tab

Open your spreadsheet in Excel 2013 and click on the Page Layout tab.

The Page Layout tab houses all the settings that control how your spreadsheet will appear when printed, including the scaling options that we need to adjust.

Step 2: Go to the Scale to Fit group

In the Page Layout tab, look for the Scale to Fit group. This is where you’ll find the settings that control the size of your printout.

The Scale to Fit group contains three options: Width, Height, and Scale. These options let you control the size of your printout without changing the size of your text or cells in the spreadsheet itself.

Step 3: Adjust the scaling options

Click on the Scale option, and choose the percentage you want to scale your printout by.

If you’re not sure what percentage to choose, try starting with 100%. This will print your spreadsheet at its actual size. If it’s still too small, you can increase the percentage until you find the right size.


Readable PrintoutsBy adjusting the scale settings, your printed spreadsheet will be more readable.
Professional AppearanceProperly scaled printouts look more professional and are easier for others to work with.
Environmentally FriendlyCorrect scaling saves paper and ink, which is both cost-effective and better for the environment.


Trial and ErrorFinding the perfect scale setting might require some trial and error, which can be time-consuming.
Paper Size LimitationsThe size of your paper might limit how much you can scale up a printout without it becoming cut off.
Printer SettingsSometimes printer settings can override Excel’s scaling options, leading to additional adjustments.

Additional Information

Adjusting the print size in Excel 2013 can involve a few more considerations beyond just the scaling options. One such consideration is the orientation of the page. Is your spreadsheet better suited to a portrait or landscape layout? Remember, landscape can often accommodate more columns and is a good choice for wider spreadsheets.

Another thing to keep in mind is the print area. Sometimes, Excel might print only a portion of your spreadsheet, especially if it’s large. Set the print area to ensure you’re only printing the data you need. And don’t forget to preview your document before printing. The Print Preview feature in Excel 2013 is incredibly useful for spotting issues like small text before you print.

Using the prompt keyword, don’t overlook the power of ‘Scale to Fit’. It’s a lifesaver when dealing with pesky printouts that just won’t cooperate.


  1. Open the Page Layout tab.
  2. Go to the Scale to Fit group.
  3. Adjust the scaling options to your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Excel spreadsheet still printing small after scaling?

If your spreadsheet is still printing too small after adjusting the scaling, check your printer settings. Sometimes, the printer’s default settings can override Excel’s scale settings.

Can I save my scaling settings for future use?

Yes, you can save your Excel document with the scaling settings, and they will be retained the next time you open the file.

How do I know what scale percentage to use?

You may need to experiment with different scale percentages to find the one that works best for your particular spreadsheet. Use the Print Preview feature to help determine the right scale.

Does changing the scale affect the quality of the printout?

Generally, scaling should not affect the quality of your printout. However, scaling up too much might make images and charts less clear.

Can I scale different sheets in a workbook differently?

Yes, each sheet in an Excel workbook can have its own scaling settings, allowing for customization depending on the content of each sheet.


Fiddling with printer settings might not be the most exciting part of working with Excel 2013, but it’s a necessary step to ensure your hard work is presented exactly as intended. The key takeaway is to be familiar with the ‘Scale to Fit’ group in the Page Layout tab, as this is where you’ll make the necessary adjustments to avoid those frustratingly small printouts.

Remember to preview your work, and don’t be afraid to tweak the settings until you find the perfect fit. With these tips and a little patience, you’ll be printing Excel spreadsheets like a pro in no time.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

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