Software

The Show Margins feature in Excel 2010 is revealed

Moving margins in Excel 2003 is easy using Show Margins. Many users can't find it in the ribbon versions, but it's still there.

Excel 2003 users can easily change margins in Print Preview. Simply click Margins and start dragging the margin lines. It's easy and intuitive.

A frequent support call for users new to the ribbon versions is about this seemingly missing feature. Even in the Print panel in Backstage, they can't find it. Many are upset that they'll have to change margins manually, which kind of negates the whole point of Print Preview for some of them. Fortunately, the feature is still available; it just isn't as obvious. In Backstage, Show Margins is in the bottom-right corner of the Print panel. You can still modify the margins quickly by dragging the margin markers.

What many users don't realize is that they can use this feature to change column widths too. In the Print panel (Print Preview in Excel 2003), just click and drag the column markers to quickly resize a column. Or, position the cursor over the column border in the actual sheet area and drag.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

8 comments
sjmaerz
sjmaerz

That is the best tip I have seen since we upgraded to Office 2010. I knew the "Show margins" command must have been there somewhere, it is just too useful to get rid of.

zimmerwoman
zimmerwoman

Is this 2010 only? The post compares this to 2003, but I am using 2007 and don't have anything I could find called "backstage": I Googled it and found references to Backstage and 2010, but not in 2007. As the comment above suggests, I use the "Page Layout" view to accomplish this. When I get home, where I use 2010, I will look for "Backstage".

dogknees
dogknees

On the View Tab, change the Workbook View to Page Layout and the margins display on the page preview and you can drag them about to suit your needs. You also get a simple way to add Headers and Footers on this view.

DBlayney
DBlayney

... but that's not what this is about. I eventually found the tiny little button after using the Excel Help to identify "backstage". It's good to know it's still there - Thanks! Exactly why it could not be visible associatetd with "custom margins" is a mystery that is likely never to be solved.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Backstage is the area on the File tab (Office button). Off the top of my head, I don't remember if they refer to it as "backstage" in 2007 or not.

sjmaerz
sjmaerz

I do not see any way to show, or move, margins in Page Layout view in MS Office 2010. I did, however, find the small button in the bottom right corner of my print preview and I am thrilled to be able to show margins and move them again.

zimmerwoman
zimmerwoman

Just so I am clear which area on the office tab, because there are several. Is this the print preview area? Is there something different about this than the print preview button I customized to my quick access toolbar and always use with the transition keystrokes "alt-f, p, alt-w" (because the menus from 1996-2003 are hard-wired in my brain)? Is it just another way to access the preview? Thanks.