When you maintain Excel workbooks with dozens or even hundreds of columns of data, you probably print those records one section at a time. Typically, you select the range you want to print, and then go to File | Print Area | Set Print Area. Repeating those steps each time you want to print a different range is a tedious process.

This week, I’d like to show you the easy way to save multiple print settings as part of your workbook. With this approach, you can change the print range and other print settings with just a couple of mouse clicks.

Save the settings in a named custom view
The secret to saving all of your custom print settings is to create a custom view. We’ll use the sample worksheet shown in Figure A to illustrate how this works.

Figure A
We’ll use this sample worksheet to illustrate how saving different print settings in custom views can save you time.

Let’s assume that for one audience, you want to print the first two columns in this sheet. For another audience, you want to print all four columns. To begin, select the range of cells you want to print—in this case the first two columns—and go to File | Print Area | Set Print Area.

Next, go to File | Page Setup and make sure the header, footer, page margins, and other print settings are the way you want them. Then, go to View | Custom Views. When the Custom Views dialog appears, click the Add button, and type a meaningful name for your view in the Name field.

Figure B shows what the Add View dialog looked like when I created the custom view Print2. In this case, the name I entered means “print two columns from our worksheet.”

Figure B
The Add View dialog lets you designate a name for your custom view.

After you enter a name for your custom view, click OK. Figure C shows the print preview screen for this particular print job.

Figure C
Here’s what my first custom view looks like in preview mode.

To create a custom view called Print4 that will print all four columns in our sheet, select all four columns of data, and then go to File | Print Area | Set Print Area. Make any changes to your header, footer, or margins as required to make this new print range fit on the page properly. (In my sample sheet, I changed the custom header.)

Finally, go to View | Custom Views and click Add. Then type a name for your field—I used the name Print4—in the Name field and click OK. Figure D shows what my print preview looks like with the new settings in place.

Figure D
Here’s what my Print4 custom view looks like in print preview mode.

Then, save your worksheet. The next time you need to print either view of your data, just go to View | Custom Views. Your named views will appear in the Custom Views list, as shown in Figure E. To activate either view, simply select it, and then click the Show button.

Figure E
After saving your print settings in custom views, you can switch print settings by selecting a view and clicking Show.

Print settings are only the beginning
In my example, I used Excel’s Custom Views to save time when I need to print several different ranges out of the same sheet. As you’ve probably guessed, Excel’s Custom Views provide many other ways to save you time and trouble.

In addition to print ranges and options, you can also save views of attributes such as column widths, window size and position, splits or frozen panes, and other settings that affect the way your data appears. Just set up your sheet the way you want it to look, and then save those settings under a custom view.

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