Author Topic: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack  (Read 867 times)

mattc

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Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« on: July 10, 2019, 07:54:38 pm »
This problem is far easier to explain in person, but I'll try it in text anyway ...

Most of the spreadsheets I use at work end up at dimensions that are impractical for printing out. Either the text in some cells gets clipped; or the columns are a bit too wide for 1 page [so if you shrink to fit, the font-size ends up unreadable], or ... a variety of other nuisnaces.

Is there a way round this? One might call it NOT wysiwyg printing!

[I tried exporting/saving to PDF ... but of course it keeps the same formatting as if you were printing, so that's no help  ::-) ]
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 07:57:53 pm »
Assuming you don't want to print more than one page?
You can manually adjust the width of the columns. There is a print layout feature so you can see what is going to go onto the next page.

Or am I missing something?
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

mattc

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 08:17:34 pm »
Or am I missing something?
What you're missing is that it's very time-consuming, if you actually want to be able to read all the text that your colleagues have put into this marvellous creation.

[I'd post an example ... but I'd risk getting the sack!]

And for clarity:
 >1 page wide is usually shit
 >1 page high is fine.
Just like a Word document :)

I want Excel to print like Word does, in essence. Does that make sense??
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

PaulF

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 08:24:11 pm »
Will it work in landscape? Otherwise if you want it to “print like Word” I’d suggest that you’re starting from the wrong place. Excel is a great tool but as soon as you try to make it a collaborative tool, by allowing comments for example it becomes a monster.

P.S. You have set the columns in the text fields to wrap I assume?

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 10:57:32 pm »
Spreadsheets aren't designed to be printed. As you've realised. Just don't try.
Why do you have to print it? Why can't you just read it on screen?
If someone else is demanding it, just print it with all columns auto sized and page to fit. If it comes out very small, tell them to get a magnifying glass.
Bonus points for massive margins and the wrong orientation, so it's a little strip across the top of a portrait page.
 If they complain, just say well it was you who asked me to print a spreadsheet.   ::-) :P
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

telstarbox

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 10:59:53 pm »
PrimoPDF is a good tool for getting better WYSIWYG layouts than Excel can manage itself.
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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 11:00:43 pm »
A horrible hack would be to iteratively set the print area to something smaller than the entire spreadsheet, then print each section auto-fit.

Manual, and prone to error (which sums up spreadsheets in general).
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Jaded

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 11:02:31 pm »
Find an A3 printer in the building.
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iddu

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 12:24:04 am »
See http://tiny.cc/8eij9y and use column width limit just less than (rm-lm), so singular columns wrap vertically on no more than 1 page width.
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 06:22:49 am »
I've never found a good way of doing this (I already print A3 and landscape).

Spreadsheets aren't designed to be printed. As you've realised. Just don't try.
Why do you have to print it? Why can't you just read it on screen?

People still insist on printouts in my workplace, even though they're aware it's really not the best way to view stuff... :-\

mattc

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 06:54:47 am »
I've never found a good way of doing this (I already print A3 and landscape).

Spreadsheets aren't designed to be printed. As you've realised. Just don't try.
Why do you have to print it? Why can't you just read it on screen?

People still insist on printouts in my workplace, even though they're aware it's really not the best way to view stuff... :-\
It is if you're walking round a building without a laptop - a sheet of paper is more portable, robust, and cheaper to drop!

I've worked around this problem since ...ooh, 1985? ... but it doesn't go away, so I thought it was worth looking for a better fix :)

Incidentally, this problem is rather like dashboards (reformatting messy data into something more quickly/easily digestable); is everyone happy that they have their uses?? :)

It's also related to making spreadsheets that are more readable  *on screen*; if your columns all fit onto 1 page width, people will find things much more easily. (I was in a meeting 2 hours ago where exactly this issue was demonstrated).
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 08:51:38 am »
I tried exporting/saving to PDF ... but of course it keeps the same formatting as if you were printing, so that's no help  ::-)

The first thing to decide is whether you want it on paper or not.   :D

If a PDF is OK, then you can make the font as small as you like in Excel because the PDF user will be able to zoom in when viewing it.

You can also, if you're using the Print-to-PDF driver in later Windows version, define the virtual page size as A3 (or possibly bigger).


Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 09:09:49 am »
Spreadsheets aren't designed to be printed. ....

hahahahahahahaha

Of course, nobody EVER uses a spreadsheet where they should use WP and tables, do they?

Fundamentally, if you are trying to get more text than will fit onto a page, you won't be able to read it.

One thing I have been known to do is to paste into a doc, where it becomes a table, do NOT embed the spreadsheet by mistake! default paste into doc is embed, one hack around that is to paste into Powerpoint where the default is "table" then copy and paste from there to Word.

You could macro-up some basic changes like margins, then you have much better control over print than you will ever get in Excel. You can also copy and paste formats from one you prepared earlier (eg if a single column needs sizing down to 6 point, say, or you want alternate row shading)

ian

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 12:44:13 pm »
I've resorted to dumping it to PDF and than hacking it about in a vector editor (Designer or Illustrator). I sadly have to do this because Office 365 for Mac can't handle fonts. In 2019. PoS. Un le ss yo u  wa nt it to lo ok l ik e  th is.

(I have to build dashboards that are printable. CEOs don't look at computers. Just other old grey men with pieces of paper. Moving to Tableau, but still Excel hackery required.)
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mattc

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2019, 05:50:28 pm »
@Ham,
You're probably making a very helpful suggestion - thankyou! - but this made me laugh:

... paste into Powerpoint where the default is "table" then copy and paste from there to Word...

Hopefully Kim will be along shortly with the relevant xkcd cartoon :)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2019, 05:56:40 pm »
You can set the number of pages across for the columns and number of pages down for rows when printing. It will require a big table for laying out the printed pages in the correct pattern.  Make sure you are no doing duplex printing.

Not a hack as such as it is built into the print options.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 05:57:30 pm »
@Ham,
You're probably making a very helpful suggestion - thankyou! - but this made me laugh:

... paste into Powerpoint where the default is "table" then copy and paste from there to Word...

Hopefully Kim will be along shortly with the relevant xkcd cartoon :)

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 06:28:39 pm »
Obviously I don't understand the question but given an impossibly big excel spreadsheet that I nevertheless have to print, I would select layout, set print titles then set area to print and assuming it was a regular table, set top and side row and column to repeat, then in print select a3 if available, set page orientation as appropriate and set scaling, so the sheet prints over 2 sheets high, 3 wide, whatev, as required.

HTH

Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2019, 08:08:58 pm »
@Ham,
You're probably making a very helpful suggestion - thankyou! - but this made me laugh:

... paste into Powerpoint where the default is "table" then copy and paste from there to Word...

Hopefully Kim will be along shortly with the relevant xkcd cartoon :)
;D :demon:

As it happens, I think Word fixed that default "paste as embed" a while back for most scenarios, except (IIRC) pasting a pivot, but I couldn't resist it.

ian

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Re: Wanted: printing-from-Excel hack
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2019, 10:30:41 pm »
Set the view to get the entire spreadsheet on screen. Then take a photo and print that. Job done.
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