Thursday, October 30, 2008

Page Setup Interface and printing the prettiest report in the office

These aren't all really tricks, but I used Excel for a year or two before I figured them out or learned them through "tribal knowledge."*

When you click File-->Page Setup, you will get this interface.

The thing I like to change here, and I've mentioned it before, is to change Scaling to Fit to and then choose 1 pages wide by BLANK tall. Do this and Excel will scale it so that it's not too wide for one page and will use as many pages as it needs.

I rarely do anything with Margins, so I won't cover it here. Basically, if you need to mess with Margins, do it here.

Header/Footer is very nice:

You can add a header and a footer to print on every page of your report here. Click the pull downs and see some existing options or choose the custom header or footer buttons to get this interface

Here's a tour of the buttons;

The first button allows you to change the font in your header or footer.

The second button shows the current page number and the third button shows the total number of pages in the report. I like to hit the button for page number type in the word "of" and then hit the button for total number of pages (Page 1 of 20)

The fourth button shows the date and the fifth button shows the time. Here, I like to show the date, hit enter and show the time below the date. Not sure why. I just do.

The sixth button shows the Path and File. This is really nice if you've buried your file in a complex file structure and need to find is 6 months later when the CEO realizes that it's the best report EVAH!

The seventh button shows just the file name. The eighth button shows the tab name. (For the love of VLOOKUP, If you use this, change the tab name from Sheet1!)

The eighth button allows you to insert a picture. A logo for example, you Excel fancypants.

That last gray button is grayed out. I'm not sure how to un-gray it.

The point with Header and Footer is don't try to make your own on the spreadsheet itself. Do it here, instead!

Finally, we have Sheet. I like this tab of the Page Setup Interface best:

Under Print titles, if you define rows to repeat at top, that row will repeat on each printed page of your report. Same is true for columns! This will make the report so easy to work with for those people who like printed copies. Do this for them!

Under print, I always check Gridlines. Because I like my gridlines to print without giving everything a border in the cell format.

I normally don't use anything else, so I won't bore you with the details because if you've gotten this far, you're a super champ as it is!

Good day!

*Does my corporate America speak impress??

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