Speeding Up Printing in Excel


Printing is an essential aspect of working with Excel, allowing us to present and share data in a tangible format. However, there's nothing worse than waiting impatiently for an important spreadsheet to finish printing, only to be met with sluggish speeds. It's a frustration that many of us have experienced, but fear not! In this blog post, we will explore some strategies to speed up printing in Excel, saving you time and keeping your workflow on track.

Key Takeaways

  • Printing is essential in Excel for presenting and sharing data.
  • Slow printing speeds can be frustrating, but there are strategies to speed up printing.
  • Optimize Excel settings by adjusting printer settings and selecting appropriate quality and paper size.
  • Reduce the print range to only necessary cells or worksheets to avoid unnecessary data.
  • Simplify the spreadsheet by removing unnecessary formatting, formulas, or objects.
  • Use Draft mode for faster printing by sacrificing some quality.
  • Utilize Print Preview to identify and fix any printing issues before printing.
  • Implement these tips to improve efficiency when printing in Excel.

Optimizing Excel Settings

One of the key factors that can greatly impact the printing speed in Excel is the configuration of the software's settings. By taking a few moments to check and adjust the settings, users can significantly speed up their printing process and improve efficiency. In this chapter, we will discuss some important settings to optimize for faster printing.

Check and Adjust Printer Settings

Before printing a document in Excel, it is crucial to ensure that the printer settings are properly configured. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click on the "File" tab in the Excel toolbar.
  • Select "Print" from the options on the left-hand side.
  • In the Print window, click on "Printer Properties" or "Print Settings," depending on the version of Excel you are using.
  • Check the settings for paper type, print quality, and color options.
  • Make sure these settings are appropriate for your document and adjust them if necessary to prioritize speed over other factors.

Select Appropriate Quality and Paper Size

Choosing the right quality and paper size can have a significant impact on the printing speed. High-quality settings and large paper sizes can slow down the entire printing process. To optimize printing speed, consider these recommendations:

  • Select a lower quality setting: In the printer settings, choose a lower quality or draft printing mode. This will reduce the amount of ink used and speed up the printing process.
  • Choose a standard paper size: Select the appropriate paper size for your document. Avoid using oversized or custom paper sizes, as they may slow down the printer.

Turn Off Unnecessary Options

Excel offers various options that enhance the visual appearance of a document but can also increase printing time unnecessarily. To optimize printing speed, it is recommended to disable certain options that are not essential for hard copies. Here are a few options to consider turning off:

  • Gridlines: Excel's default setting includes gridlines, but they are not necessary for printed copies. Disable the gridlines feature before printing to decrease the printing time.
  • Background images: If your Excel document contains background images that are not crucial for the printed output, consider removing them or disabling the background image option in the printing settings.

By following these recommendations and adjusting the settings in Excel, users can significantly speed up their printing process. Optimizing settings such as printer configurations, quality and paper size selection, and disabling unnecessary options will not only save time but also improve overall efficiency in Excel.

Reducing the Print Range

When it comes to printing in Excel, it's important to optimize the process to save time and resources. One effective way to speed up printing is by reducing the print range. By printing only the required cells or specific worksheets, unnecessary data can be avoided, resulting in faster printing times. Here are some tips on how to effectively reduce the print range in Excel:

Encourage users to print only the required cells or specific worksheets

  • Emphasize the importance of identifying and selecting the necessary cells or worksheets before initiating the print process.
  • Highlight that printing excessive data not only slows down the printing time but also wastes paper and ink.

Explain how to adjust the print area to avoid unnecessary data

  • Guide users on how to define a specific print area to exclude irrelevant information from being printed.
  • Encourage users to use the "Set Print Area" feature in Excel to select only the required range of cells.
  • Explain the steps involved in adjusting the print area, such as selecting the desired range, navigating to the "Page Layout" tab, selecting "Print Area," and clicking on "Set Print Area."

Advise against printing entire workbooks unless necessary

  • Inform users about the potential drawbacks of printing entire workbooks, such as increased printing time and excessive use of paper and ink.
  • Encourage users to assess the relevance of each worksheet before deciding to print the entire workbook.
  • Suggest utilizing the "Print Active Sheets" option in Excel to only print the currently active worksheet, rather than the entire workbook.

By following these tips and encouraging users to print only the necessary cells or specific worksheets, the printing process in Excel can be significantly sped up, saving time, resources, and promoting efficiency.

Simplifying the Spreadsheet

Printing large spreadsheets in Excel can sometimes be a time-consuming task, especially when dealing with complex and data-rich worksheets. However, there are several steps you can take to speed up the printing process and ensure smoother output. One effective approach is to simplify the spreadsheet by removing unnecessary formatting, formulas, and objects.

Remove Unnecessary Formatting, Formulas, or Objects

Unnecessary formatting, such as excessive cell borders, colors, or font styles, can significantly impact printing speed. These formatting elements add to the file size and the time it takes for Excel to process and render the spreadsheet for printing. Therefore, it's essential to encourage users to remove any unnecessary formatting from their worksheets before attempting to print.

Similarly, complex formulas that involve multiple calculations or references to large ranges of data can slow down the printing process. In some cases, redundant or outdated formulas can also contribute to slower printing speed. Users should be advised to review and simplify their formulas, removing any unnecessary calculations or references that are no longer required.

Lastly, objects such as images, charts, or shapes can also affect printing speed. Large or complex objects require more processing power and memory, leading to slower printing times. Users should be encouraged to evaluate whether these objects are necessary for the printed version of the spreadsheet. If not, they should consider removing or replacing them with simpler alternatives.

Explain the Performance Impact of Complex Spreadsheets on Printing Speed

It's important to emphasize to users the performance impact that complex spreadsheets can have on printing speed. When a spreadsheet contains numerous formatting elements, extensive formulas, and large objects, it requires more resources for Excel to process the data and prepare it for printing. This greater demand on system resources can result in slower printing times and potential delays.

By understanding the performance implications of complexity, users can make informed decisions when designing or modifying their spreadsheets. They will be more inclined to simplify their worksheets and optimize them for printing, ultimately reducing the time it takes to print a given spreadsheet.

Suggest Copying the Required Data to a New Sheet for Printing Purposes

One effective strategy to speed up printing in Excel is to copy only the necessary data to a new sheet dedicated solely to printing. This approach minimizes the amount of unnecessary data and formatting that must be processed and rendered during the printing process.

Users should be encouraged to identify the specific data they need to print and copy it to a new sheet using Excel's copy and paste functionality. By doing so, they can eliminate any extra rows, columns, or irrelevant information that may slow down printing. This focused data set will enhance printing speed and result in more efficient use of system resources.

Printing in Draft Mode

When it comes to printing large spreadsheets in Excel, the process can often be time-consuming and frustrating. However, by utilizing the Draft mode feature, users can significantly speed up their printing tasks. This chapter will discuss the benefits of using Draft mode, explain how to enable it, and highlight the sacrifice of quality for improved speed.

Benefits of Using Draft Mode

1. Faster Printing: One of the primary advantages of using Draft mode is the significant increase in printing speed. By removing unnecessary formatting and graphics, Excel can quickly generate and print the spreadsheet data, saving you valuable time.

2. Reduced File Size: Another benefit of Draft mode is the reduction in file size. By eliminating elements such as background colors, images, and unnecessary formatting, the resulting file becomes smaller and more manageable. This not only speeds up the printing process but also allows for easier file sharing and storage.

Enabling Draft Mode for Efficient Printing

1. Open the Page Setup: To enable Draft mode, start by opening the Page Setup dialog box. You can access this by clicking on the "Page Layout" tab, then selecting "Page Setup" from the Page Setup group.

2. Choose the Sheet Tab: In the Page Setup dialog box, select the "Sheet" tab. Here, you will find various options related to printing settings.

3. Enable Draft Quality: Under the "Print Quality" section, you will find a dropdown menu labeled "Use Draft Quality." Check the box next to it to enable Draft mode for printing.

4. Adjust Other Settings: While in the Page Setup dialog box, you can also modify other settings such as orientation, margins, and paper size to further optimize your print job.

Sacrificing Quality for Improved Speed

1. Loss of Formatting: It's important to note that enabling Draft mode sacrifices certain formatting elements in exchange for speed. This includes the removal of cell borders, background colors, and other visual enhancements. While this may not impact the readability of the data, it may compromise the aesthetics of the printed spreadsheet.

2. Limited Graphics: Draft mode also eliminates graphics, including images and shapes, which may be an essential part of your spreadsheet. If visuals are crucial for your printout, Draft mode may not be the most suitable option.

3. Consider the Purpose: Before enabling Draft mode, consider the purpose of your printout. If it's intended solely for reference or internal use, sacrificing some quality for speed may be a worthwhile trade-off. However, if the printed output is for formal presentations or external distribution, it's advisable to use the default printing mode to ensure a professional and polished appearance.

By utilizing the Draft mode feature in Excel, you can expedite your printing tasks and save valuable time. While sacrificing some quality and aesthetics, the benefits of faster printing and smaller file sizes make Draft mode an attractive option for certain scenarios.

Using Print Preview

One of the most effective ways to speed up printing in Excel is to utilize the Print Preview feature before sending your document to the printer. This feature allows you to get a glimpse of how your spreadsheet will look once printed, helping you identify and fix any issues that may arise.

Advise users to utilize the Print Preview feature before printing

Before hitting the print button, it is highly recommended to take a moment and review your document in Print Preview. This simple step can save you time, effort, and resources by allowing you to make necessary adjustments before printing.

Explain how this can help identify and fix any issues before printing

Print Preview provides a clear representation of your spreadsheet's layout, allowing you to spot any potential problems before they are manifested in a physical copy. By examining your document in Print Preview, you can easily identify issues such as overflowing content, misaligned elements, or blank pages that may need to be resolved.

Suggest adjusting the scale or layout if necessary

If you notice any problems during the Print Preview process, Excel offers various tools to help you address them effectively. One option is to adjust the scale or layout of your spreadsheet. By modifying these settings, you can ensure that the content fits neatly on each page, minimizing the chances of encountering printing delays or errors.

  • Adjusting the scale: If your spreadsheet appears to be too small or too large when previewed, consider changing the scale. Excel allows you to adjust the zoom level to make your content more readable or fit more data on each page.
  • Modifying the layout: In some cases, you may find that certain elements, such as headers or footers, are not positioned correctly in Print Preview. Excel enables you to modify the page layout to reposition or resize these elements, ensuring that they align properly in the final printed version.

By taking advantage of the Print Preview feature and making necessary adjustments, you can significantly speed up the printing process in Excel while also enhancing the overall quality of your printed documents.


Speeding up printing in Excel is crucial for improving efficiency and saving time in a professional environment. By implementing the suggested strategies, such as optimizing the print area, reducing the print quality, and using print preview mode, users can significantly reduce the time it takes to print their Excel documents. These simple yet effective tips can make a big difference in productivity. So, don't hesitate to put them into practice and experience a faster and more efficient printing process in Excel.

Excel Dashboard

SAVE $698

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Related aticles