MVP #48: Quick Data Formatting Tips in Excel To Have A Good Looking Output

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There are some quick tips in Excel that would turn a bland looking data into a nice looking one. One of the best tip is to apply a table formatting to the data.

An example, is taking a table like the one below and turning it in a well formatted one.

Select the data and go to Home menu, Format as Table. Choose a color theme.

If you want to email the Excel file to a colleague, you can copy the table and paste in Outlook and you’ll have the beautiful looking table in the body of the email. Your colleague will have no excuse to give regarding not seeing or acting on the data.

So what if you needed to print it for your boss.

Here’s what you get from Print Preview.

So how can you make Excel print this table on just one paper?
Very Easy.

Go to Page Layout menu, and under the Scale to Fit section, set the Width and Height to 1 page.

So let’s see the result.

Goal achieved! But it could have looked better if it had used more space, the space below. So we need to try out one more setting and see if it will give us a better result. We will set the Orientation to Landscape.

Let’s view the result.

Bravo! This is much better!

What if our boss wanted just January to May data and not the entire table?
Also very easy. 

Highlight the table from the beginning up to May, leaving out June. So we are highlighting just what we want to print.

Under same Page Layout, Click on Print Area, and select Set Print Area.

And that’s it! So let’s see the result.

There we have it, no June data included!

One more big tip. 

What if you have a big table that will print into many pages but you want the header to repeat on the first row of every page?

Below is a sample.

Notice that the page two has no header to help you identify what the fields are.

So here’s how to fix that.

Still at Page Layout menu, click on the small icon at the bottom right corner of the Sheet Options section.

In the dialog box that comes up, set the Rows to repeat at top.

Select Row 1 that has the headers.

And that is all!

So let’s see the result.


So these are the basic ways you format your data for printing.

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