How to Delete a Page in Excel

Stop printing blank pages

Excel Spreadsheets printed hardcopy

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You've created a killer Excel spreadsheet or workbook and you're all set to print your work...and then your printer adds a handful of mysteriously blank pages to your print job. Why? There are a handful of technicalities that might cause printing issues, but the important thing is that you can correct those by setting your page breaks and print areas.

Ready to clean up that print job? Here's how.

The instructions in this article should work for all versions of Microsoft Excel from 2003 forward and is very similar to the way it's done in Word.

How to Insert, Move, or Delete Page Breaks in Excel

Page breaks are the boundaries in a worksheet that decide what content goes on what page of your printed document. Excel will choose these for you automatically, using your default paper size and margin settings. You can also tweak the automatic page breaks by scaling your print job smaller (<100%) or larger (>100%) than your working document.

Automatic page breaks can also lead to pages with very little content in your print job, or even pages that are entirely blank. Here's how to use page breaks to optimize your print job and prevent blank pages from spooling through your printer.

You can adjust page breaks in the Normal view in Excel, but it's much easier to use Page Break Preview to work on your page break layout. The preview mode will show how any change you make to columns or rows impacts your automatic page breaks.

  1. Access the Page Break Preview setting. This is located on the View Ribbon under the Workbook Views section.

    Older versions of Excel may require users to use View > Page Break Preview under the Menus tab.

    Click Page Break Preview to enable the preview mode.

    The location of the Page Break Preview in Excel.
  2. With Page Break Preview enabled you can see a dotted line representing the automatic page break, with each page numbered. Even this small document is defaulting to print across two pages, and the text in cell H will be broken up. Not ideal.

    You can click any of the blue lines (both dotted and solid) to adjust your print areas.

    A view of the automatic page breaks in Excel using Page Break Preview.
  3. Click and drag the dotted blue line (an automated print break) to adjust the area you would like to have printed. The line turns solid. This means it is converted to a manual page break.

    How to change automatic print break to manual print break in Excel.
  4. Drag the print break line to include all of your text on Page 1.

    A custom page break in Microsoft Excel.

    Page 2 is now blank, but it will most likely print with your document anyway since it once held relevant data. To make it go away you need to grab the outside print area bar on the right and drag it to meet the page break bar that is separating the two pages.

    Removing blank page from Excel print preview using breaks.
  5. When you're done adjusting your page breaks return to the View ribbon or menu and select Normal.

Once you've returned to the Normal view you can still see just a hint of your page breaks. However, you won't be able to move them around outside of the Page Break Preview mode.

How to Set Your Print Area in Excel

Creating page breaks is a great way to manage larger documents, but what if you just want to print a snapshot of content and not the whole worksheet? You can use printer options to Print Selected Area by following these steps.

For one-time printing:

  1. Click and drag to highlight the area of your worksheet that you want to print.

    How to select data in Excel to set print area.
  2. Go to File > Print to print your document. Choose Print Selection in the drop down menu under Settings.

    The Print Selection in Microsoft Excel.
  3. As an alternative, you may also use the bottom drop down menu to scale your selected content to fit on a single page or customize the scale.

    Custom Scaling for Excel print area.

If you'll be printing the selected area more than once and want to permanently set a print area for the document, you can do it this way:

  1. Go to the Page Layout Ribbon or menu.

  2. Highlight the area that you want to print then click Print Area and choose Set Print Area.

    The location of the Set Print Area option in Excel.
  3. You will see a slight outline illustrating your new print area. If you need to change your print area click Print Area > Clear Print Area.

These two methods should help you keep blank mystery pages out of your Excel print jobs.