Why Microsoft Excel prints blank pages and how to fix the problem

It can be said, in general, that a Microsoft Excel document, like an atom, consists largely of empty space. But it’s no picnic when you print an Excel file and your printer spits out many blank pages. Here’s why it can happen and some ways to fix it.

Why do Microsoft Excel documents print blank pages

Here are some reasons why Excel documents print with extra blank pages. We also have a more general guide on how to troubleshoot if your printer prints blank pages.

1. Cells are formatted to appear blank

Sometimes you can format cells in a Microsoft Excel document in certain ways to make them appear blank. This situation occurs when cells contain white text and the cell background is white, or when certain data values ​​are set to not display or print.

2. The document contains blank pages

If the Microsoft Excel document contains a block of blank cells between areas containing data, you may end up with a few blank pages printed.

3. The pages contain errors

If a cell on a page contains an error and errors are set to print blank, Excel files may print blank or with cells that appear blank.


4. There are hidden columns

Another reason for getting blank Excel printouts is if a document contains hidden columns with manual page breaks.

How to Prevent Microsoft Excel from Printing Blank Pages

Try these simple fixes to ensure that Microsoft Excel files are not printing blank pages.

1. Define a specific area to print

Printing an Excel file is a bit strange. It may not necessarily conform to standard page sizes and layouts, depending on your data. The impression may therefore be distorted. A simple way to solve this problem is to define the area you want to print. Here’s how:

  1. In an Excel spreadsheet, select (highlight) the cells you want to appear on the printed page.
  2. Under the Layout tab, click the Print area drop-down list and select Set print area.

Go to View > Page Break Preview to see how the pages are set up to print.

We have an informative article on how to set a print area in Excel, as well as how to enlarge and clear the print area.

2. Set the number of pages to print

It can be annoying if many blank pages are printed at the end of your Excel document, but it can be dealt with easily. All you have to do is check the number of pages before printing and leave out the blank ones.

You can also apply this fix if blank pages appear in the middle of your Excel printout and all your data is printed. You will need to go through each page in print preview to make sure no blank pages appear.

3. Scale to match paper size

Scaling is best used when you want to fit an Excel spreadsheet to your screen, but it can also be used for other things. And sometimes printing errors can be caused by scaling issues.

Since Excel, by default, doesn’t give you clearly defined pages, it can be difficult to know where one page ends and the next begins. The first thing to do is center your data on the page. To do this:

  1. Go to the Layout tab on the ribbon, click the Margins drop-down list and select Custom margins.
  2. In the Margins tab, under the tab Center on Page section, check the horizontally check box.

Then adjust the scale.

  1. Go to the Scale to fit section in the Layout ribbon tab.
  2. Scale down from 100% to something that fits your page better.

Check the print preview to see if that solved the problem. Another way to scale your pages for printing is to adjust the scaling in Excel options. To do this:

  1. Go to File > Options.
  2. Under the Advanced tab, scroll to tab General section.
  3. Make sure the Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11″ paper sizes option is checked.

4. Copy your work to a new Excel file

A simple temporary solution is to copy only what you want to print and paste it into a new Excel file. This way you know exactly what is in the file and what needs to be printed.

5. Check unnoticed text

You don’t need to manually check every cell in your Excel file if you think there are cells with white text. An easier method is to run a specific search using the Find and Replace search feature in Excel. Here’s how:

  1. Hurry CTRL+F to open the find and replace box.
  2. To deploy themselves Choice to see more.
  3. Click on the Format drop-down list and select Format.
  4. Under the Character font tab, set the color to white and click OKAY.
  5. Click it find all button to see all cells with white text.

6. Check page breaks among hidden columns or rows

Hidden rows or columns by themselves will not affect printing, but page breaks between hidden rows or columns may cause problems when printing. Follow these steps to check:

  1. Navigate to the Editing group in the House tongue.
  2. go click Find and Select > Go to Special.
  3. Select Visible cells only and click OKAY.

If there are hidden cells, all cells will be selected with the borders of the hidden rows and columns highlighted. Select the rows or columns on either side of a hidden row, right-click the row or column name and select To display. Adjust page breaks to make pages print the way you want.

You may notice that a large part of your Excel document contains zeros, but to make sure, follow these steps to print the cells containing a zero as data, whether by direct entry, formula or another method.

  1. Go to File > Options.
  2. Under the Advanced tab, scroll to tab Display options for this worksheet section.
  3. Make sure the Display a zero in cells that have a null value option is checked.

8. Find out how errors are handled

If an error is set to print blank, you may end up with cells or groups of cells not printing their valuable data. Here’s how to enable printing of cells with errors in Excel:

  1. Under the Layout click the Dialog Launcher box at the bottom right of the tab Layout section.
  2. Under the Sheet make sure cell errors are set to be displayed.

9. Check the print quality

Some printers allow you to print in draft quality to save ink and time. These settings can affect the printing of your documents. To ensure that draft quality is not selected, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Printed titles under the Layout tab in the Excel worksheet.
  2. Under the Sheet tab or header, make sure the Black and white and Draft quality checkboxes are unchecked.

Next, make sure your prints are of the highest quality. To do this:

  1. Click on Printed titles under the Layout tab in the Excel worksheet.
  2. Switch to the Page tab or header, and change the print quality to High.

You can jump to printing directly from here by pressing the Preview before printing button.

10. Convert spreadsheet to latest Microsoft Excel format

Errors can be associated with the program version of the Excel file you are using, especially if you are using the older XLS format. Make sure to use the latest Excel format. If not, convert your file to the latest format, XLSX.

11. Get the Latest Printer Drivers

Sometimes a problem with the operating system and printer driver can cause blank Microsoft Excel pages to print. The easiest solution in this case is to update your printer drivers. You will need to log into your printer manufacturer’s website and find the latest drivers for your printer model.

Ban printing blank Excel pages

Some issues are easier to fix than others, and if you start to notice Excel files print a few blank pages, a simple settings change should fix the problem. More serious compatibility issues are taken care of by updating file formats and printer drivers.

Calvin W. Soper