Blank pages are unexpectedly printed in Excel

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Article ID: 277601 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q277601
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Symptoms

In Microsoft Excel, when you print a worksheet, pages that are completely blank may be unexpectedly printed.

Cause

This behavior can occur under any of the following conditions:
  • The only data on a page is in cells that are formatted in such a way that they are blank.

    Cells that are formatted to appear blank include those with white fonts, zeroes-as-blanks settings, three semicolons (see Example 1 in the "More Information" section), and so forth.
  • A cell on the page contains an error, and errors have been selected to print as blank.
  • There are completely blank pages ahead of any pages that contain data (including the first two conditions stated here), which print as blank.
  • The worksheet contains drawing objects that are located in unexpected areas of the worksheet.
  • The worksheet contains hidden columns with manual page breaks

    These objects may be very small in size, formatted as white, and so forth.
NOTE: Pages that contain hidden rows or columns are not printed (if there is no other data on the page), nor are the intervening pages.

Workaround

To work around this issue, follow these steps:
  1. On the File menu, click Print.

    Note In Excel 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Print.
  2. Under Print range, select only the page or pages that you want to print.

More information

The following steps must be completed for both of the following examples:
  1. Start Excel and create a new workbook.
  2. In cell A1, type Test.

Example 1: A Cell Is Formatted as Blank

  1. In cell M85, type Test, and then press ENTER.
  2. Select cell M85.
  3. On the Format menu, click Cells.

    Note In Excel 2007, click Format in the Cells group on the Home tab, and then click Format Cells.
  4. On the Number tab, under Category, click Custom.
  5. In the Type box, delete the selection (press the BACKSPACE key to erase the selection), and then type ;;; (three semicolons).
  6. Click OK.

    Cell M85 is hidden.
  7. On the File menu, click Print Preview.

    Note In Excel 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Print, and then click Print Preview.

    Notice that not only does page 1 contain data, but it is followed by three blank pages. This includes the page that has the hidden cell and the intervening pages.

Example 2: Errors Are Set to Print Blank

  1. In cell M85, type the following formula:
    =1/0
    You receive a divide-by-zero error message.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Setup.

    Note In Excel 2007, click the Page Setup dialog box launcher in the Page Setup group on the Page Layout tab.
  3. On the Sheet tab, under Print, in the Cell error as drop-down box, click <blank>.
  4. Click Print Preview.

    Notice that not only does page 1 contain data, but it is followed by three blank pages.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Properties

Article ID: 277601 - Last Review: October 25, 2012 - Revision: 1.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Excel 2013
Keywords: 
kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbpending kbprb KB277601

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