Printing from Calc

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Printing from Calc is the same as printing from other OOo components (see Chapter 10), but some details are different, especially regarding preparation for printing.

The Print dialog, reached from File > Print, has some Calc-specific options: Print and Print Range.

Print dialog for Calc

Selecting sheets to print

You can select one or more sheets for printing. This can be useful if you have a large spreadsheet with multiple sheets and only want to print certain sheets. For example, an accountant might record costs over time with one sheet for each month. To print the November and December sheets, follow this procedure:

  1. Go to the November sheet. Hold down the Control key and click on the tab of the December sheet.
  2. To print all of the sheets, go to File > Print and select Options.
  3. The Printer Options dialog has only two choices: Suppress output of empty pages and Print only selected sheets. The Print only selected sheets. This choice affects the print preview, export, and printing of your spreadsheet.

    Top of the Printer Options dialog
  4. Click OK.

Documentation note.png The Options button is different from the Properties button. Properties deals with the settings of the printer, whereas Options deals with OOo’s settings.

Documentation caution.png If you keep the selected sheets selected, when you enter data on one sheet, you enter data on all sheets at the same time. This might not be what you want.

Selecting the page order, details, and scale

To select the page order, details, and scale to be printed:

  1. Select Format > Page from the main menu.
  2. Select the Sheet tab.
  3. Make your selections, and then click OK.
The Sheet tab of the Page Style dialog

Page Order

You can set the order in which pages print. This is especially useful in a large document; for example, controlling the print order can save time if you have to collate the document a certain way.

Where a sheet prints on more than one page of paper, it can be printed either by column, where the first column of pages prints, and then the second column and so on, or by row as shown in the graphic on the top right of the page order dialog.


You can specify which details to print. Those details include:

  • Row and column headers
  • Sheet grid—prints the borders of the cells as a grid
  • Notes—prints the notes defined in your spreadsheet on a separate page, along with the corresponding cell reference
  • Objects and graphics
  • Charts
  • Drawing objects
  • Formulas—prints the formulas contained in the cells, instead of the results
  • Zero Values—prints cells with a zero value
Documentation note.png Remember that since the print detail options are a part of the page’s properties, they are also a part of the page style’s properties. Therefore, different page styles can be set up to quickly change the print properties of the sheets in the spreadsheet.


Use the scale features to control the number of pages the data will print on. This can be useful if a large amount of data needs to be printed more compactly or, if the reader has poor eyesight, text can be enlarged when it prints.

  • Reduce/Enlarge printout—scales the data in the printout either larger or smaller. For example if a sheet would normally print out as four pages (two high and two wide), a scaling of 50% would print as one page (both width and height are halved).
  • Fit print range(s) on number of pages—defines exactly how many pages the printout will take up. This option will only reduce a printout, it will not enlarge it. To enlarge a printout, the reduce/enlarge option must be used.
  • Fit print range(s) to width/height—defines how high and wide the printout will be, in pages.

Using print ranges

Print ranges have several uses, including printing only a specific part of the data or printing selected rows or columns on every page. For more about using print ranges, see Chapter 5 (Printing, Exporting, and E-mailing) in the Calc Guide.

Defining a print range

To define a new print range or modify an existing print range:

  1. Highlight the range of cells that comprise the print range.
  2. Choose Format > Print Ranges > Define.

The page break lines display on the screen.

Tip.png You can check the print range by using File > Page Preview. OOo will only display the cells in the print range.

Removing a print range

It may become necessary to remove a defined print range, for example if the whole sheet needs to be printed later.

Choose Format > Print Ranges > Remove. This removes all defined print ranges on the sheet. After the print range is removed, the default page break lines will appear on the screen.

Printing rows or columns on every page

If a sheet is printed on multiple pages, you can set up certain rows or columns to repeat on each printed page.

For example, if the top two rows of the sheet as well as column A need to be printed on all pages, do the following:

  1. Choose Format > Print Ranges > Edit. On the Edit Print Ranges dialog, type the rows in the text entry box under Rows to repeat. For example, to repeat rows 1 and 2, type $1:$2. In the Rows to repeat list, - none - changes to - user defined -.
  2. Specifying repeating rows
  3. Columns can also repeat; type the columns in the text entry box under Columns to repeat. For example, to repeat column A, type $A. In the Columns to repeat list, - none - changes to - user defined -.
  4. Click OK.
Documentation note.png You do not need to select the entire range of the rows to be repeated; selecting one cell in each row works.

Page breaks

While defining a print range can be a powerful tool, it may sometimes be necessary to manually tweak Calc’s printout. To do this, you can use a manual break. A manual break helps to ensure that your data prints properly. You can insert a horizontal page break above, or a vertical page break to the left of, the active cell.

Inserting a page break

To insert a page break:

  1. Navigate to the cell where the page break will begin.
  2. Select Insert > Manual Break.
  3. Select Row Break or Column Break depending on your need.

The break is now set.

Row break

Selecting Row Break creates a page break above the selected cell. For example, if the active cell is H15, then the break is created between rows 14 and 15.

Column break

Selecting Column Break creates a page break to the left of the selected cell. For example, if the active cell is H15, then the break is created between columns G and H.

Tip.png To see page break lines more easily on screen, you can change their color. Choose Tools > Options > > Appearance and scroll down to the Spreadsheet section.

Deleting a page break

To remove a page break:

  1. Navigate to a cell that is next to the break you want to remove.
  2. Select Edit > Delete Manual Break.
  3. Select Row Break or Column Break depending on your need.

The break is now removed.

Documentation note.png Multiple manual row and column breaks can exist on the same page. When you want to remove them, you have to remove each one individually. This may be confusing at times, because although there may be a column break set on the page, when you go to Edit > Manual Break, Column break may be grayed out.

In order to remove the break, you have to be in the cell next to the break. So, for example, if you set the column break while you are in H15, you can not remove it if you are in cell D15. However, you can remove it from any cell in column H.

Headers and footers

Headers and footers are predefined pieces of text that are printed at the top or bottom of a sheet outside of the sheet area. They are set the same way.

Headers and footers are assigned to a page style. You can define more than one page style for a spreadsheet and assign different page styles to different sheets. For more about page styles, see Chapter 10.

To set a header or footer:

  1. Navigate to the sheet that you want to set the header or footer for. Select Format > Page.
  2. Select the Header (or Footer) tab.
  3. Select the Header on option.
Header dialog

From here you can also set the margins, the spacing, and height for the header or footer. You can check the AutoFit height box to have the height of the header or footer automatically adjust.


Changing the size of the left or right margin adjusts how far the header or footer is from the side of the page.


Spacing affects how far above or below the sheet the header or footer will print. So, if spacing is set to 1.00", then there will be 1 inch between the header or footer and the sheet.


Height affects how big the header or footer will be.

Header or footer appearance

To change the appearance of the header or footer, click More.

Header/Footer Border/Background

From this dialog you can set the background and border of the header or footer. See Chapter 10 (Using Styles in Calc) for more information.

Contents of the header or footer

The header or footer of a Calc spreadsheet has three columns for text. Each column can have different contents.

To set the contents of the header or footer, click the Edit button in the header or footer dialog to display the dialog shown below.

Edit contents of header or footer


Each area is independent and can have different information in it.


You can select from several preset choices in the Header drop-down list, or specify a custom header using the buttons below. (If you are formatting a footer, the choices are the same.)

Custom header

Click in the area (Left, Center, Right) that you want to customize, then use the buttons to add elements or change text attributes.

TAIcon.png Opens the Text Attributes dialog.

TPIcon.png Inserts the total number of pages.

FNIcon.png Inserts the File Name field.

DAIcon.png Inserts the Date field.

SNIcon.png Inserts the Sheet Name field.

TFIcon.png Inserts the Time field.

PNIcon.png Inserts the current page number.

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