8 Best Ways To Clear Print Area in Microsoft Excel

Learn how to clear print area in Excel with this ultimate tutorial if the Excel Print Area feature is troubling you.

Do you often see your printer printing a partial worksheet leaving behind important datasets, tables, charts, or text strings? This might be due to Microsoft Excel’s Print Area feature.

This function helps you to print focused content from a large worksheet. If you don’t disable it, you might get into trouble the next time you attempt to print a larger area from the same worksheet.

After carefully researching and exploring all the possible options to Clear Print area, I’ve listed the most effortless ones in this quick Excel tutorial. I’ve also included simple steps and original screenshots for those steps so you can follow along with me on your worksheet.

Read the article until the end to learn this indispensable Excel skill which most office managers expect that you already know.

What Is a Print Area?

Set up print area command
Set up print area command

Print Area or Set Print Area is an Excel Page Layout command that allows you to control which part of the worksheet you want to print.

Let’s consider your worksheet contains some datasets from columns A to I and rows 1 to 21. but, you’ve set up a Print Area for the cell range F1:I10. Whenever you print this worksheet, the printer will only print the selected cell range.

You can know if the worksheet has a print area by looking for a thin outside border surrounding a cell range. There can be only one print area in a worksheet.

Thin outside borders
Thin outside borders

If you don’t know this Excel feature, you might have tried all sorts of printing troubleshooting to no avail. Excel wouldn’t print the full worksheet anyway until you learn how to clear the print area.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of Print Area in Excel, let’s look at the methods to remove this from your worksheet below:

Using the Page Layout Tab on the Ribbon

Page Layout tab
Page Layout tab

Navigate to the target worksheet and click on the Page Layout tab.

Now, click on the Print Area drop-down menu and choose the Clear Print Area option.

Print area cleared in Excel
Print area cleared in Excel

You’ll only see Clear Print Area if a print area has been defined on the worksheet.

Using the Page Setup Dialog Box

For instance, there’s a print area in your worksheet for the cell range A1:D10.

page setup shortcut
page setup shortcut

To remove this, go to that worksheet and press Alt + P + SP to bring up the Page Setup dialog box.

Page Setup Page tab
Page Setup Page tab

You’ll be on the Page tab.

Delete print area cell range
Delete print area cell range

Navigate to the Sheet tab.

Select the cell range inside the Print area field and hit the Delete button.

Click OK to apply.

Print area cleared using Page Setup
Print area cleared using Page Setup

You’ll see that the existing print area has been removed instantly.

Using the Print Settings Tools

Let’s say you don’t want to disturb the existing print area on the worksheet. Yet, you want to clear the print area in the print output. You can do just that using various settings available on the Print tool.

Printing shortcut
Printing shortcut

When on the target worksheet, press Ctrl + P to open the Print tool.

Ignore print area
Ignore print area

Click on the Settings drop-down and choose Ignore Print Area option.

The print preview will now show all the worksheet content within the printable area.

Click Print.

Using the Name Manager Dialog Box

When you create a print area in a worksheet, Excel automatically creates a named range for that cell range. If you remove that named range, the print area will also be cleared. You can achieve this from the Name Manager.

Name manager shortcut
Name manager shortcut

For instance, there’s a print area for the cell range A1:D10 in worksheet Sheet 3.

To remove this using the Name Manager method, press Alt + M + N to open the Name Manager dialog box.

Look for sheet number of print area
Look for the sheet number of the print area

On the Name Manager, look under the Scope column to find the worksheet names.

Since your print area is in Sheet 3, click on the Print_Area named range for Sheet 3. You’ll find only one print area named range for each worksheet of the workbook if a print area exists for those sheets.

Press Delete on the keyboard or click on the Delete button in the Name Manager dialog box.

Print area removed using Print Manager
Print area removed using Print Manager

Congratulations! You’ve removed the print area for the selected worksheet.

Using the Worksheet Copy Method

If you copy the worksheet content and paste it on another sheet in the same or different workbook, Excel won’t copy the print area.

Select the whole worksheet
Select the whole worksheet

When copying the worksheet data, click on any cell except those that are within the print area. Press Ctrl + A to select the entire worksheet content.

Pasted and removed print area
Pasted and removed print area

Now, follow the standard copy (Ctrl + C) and pasting (Ctrl + V) commands to move content to a new worksheet.

If you try to select the entire sheet by clicking on a cell within the print area, only the content confined in the print area will be selected and copied.

Set a New Print Area to Clear the Existing One

Existing print area
Existing print area

Suppose, there’s a print area in your worksheet for the cell range A1:D10.

To remove this print area, select another dataset in the same worksheet.

Set a new print area
Set up a new print area

Go to Page Setup, click Print Area, and choose the Set Print Area option.

Excel will create a new print area and remove the existing one.

Using the Print Selection Option in Print Settings

This is another clever method to keep your existing print area setup yet don’t print that on a hard copy.

Simply, highlight the worksheet content, like datasets, tables, etc., you want to print.

Press the print command
Press the print command

Press Ctrl + P to open the Print tool.

Print selection option
Print selection option

Click on the Settings drop-down on the left-side navigation panel.

Choose Print Selection.

You’ll see that the print preview has ignored the existing Print Area to show the selected worksheet content.

Click Print to get a printed document.

Clear Print Area Using Excel VBA

If you prefer programmatic methods to clear the print area in Excel over manual methods, look at the VBA scripts below. I’ve listed VBA codes for multiple scenarios so you can remove the print area by executing a VBA macro.

Read the following tutorial before moving further down the article. It’ll help you learn how to utilize VBA codes to set up macros on Microsoft Excel.

📒 Read More: How To Use The VBA Code You Find Online

Of a Specific Sheet

This VBA script lets you remove the print area from a worksheet you select on a large workbook with many worksheets:

VBA script to clear print area of a specific worksheet
VBA script to clear print area of a specific worksheet
Sub ClearPrintAreaSpecificSheet()
    Dim wsName As String
    On Error Resume Next
    wsName = InputBox("Enter the name of the target worksheet:")
    On Error GoTo 0
    
    If wsName <> "" Then
        On Error Resume Next
        Worksheets(wsName).PageSetup.PrintArea = ""
        On Error GoTo 0
        MsgBox "Print area cleared for worksheet '" & wsName & "'.", vbInformation, "Print Area Cleared"
    Else
        MsgBox "No worksheet name entered. Print area not cleared.", vbExclamation, "Error"
    End If
End Sub

Use the method you learned previously to create a VBA macro using the above code.

Run macro
Run macro

Then, press Alt + F8 to bring up the Macro dialog box.

Input box for sheet name
Input box for sheet name

Select the ClearPrintAreaSpecificSheet macro and hit Run.

Excel will ask you for the target worksheet name through an input box.

A dialog box confirming action
A dialog box confirming the action

Once you enter the necessary sheet name, Excel VBA will clear the print area automatically. You’ll also a notification if the process is successful.

⚠️ Warning: Create a backup workbook before you try any of the VBA macros. You won’t be able to revert changes.

For All Sheets

Do you want to remove all print areas in a workbook? Use the following VBA script:

VBA script to remove print area for all worksheets
VBA script to remove print area for all worksheets
Sub ClearPrintAreaForAllSheets()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim userResponse As VbMsgBoxResult
    
    ' Ask for confirmation
    userResponse = MsgBox("Are you sure you want to clear the print area for all sheets?", vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Confirmation")
    
    If userResponse = vbYes Then
        ' Loop through each worksheet and clear the print area
        For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
            ws.PageSetup.PrintArea = ""
        Next ws
        MsgBox "Print areas cleared successfully!", vbInformation, "Done"
    Else
        MsgBox "Operation canceled.", vbExclamation, "Canceled"
    End If
End Sub
 
Notification asking for final confirmation
Notification asking for final confirmation

When you execute this VBA macro, Excel asks for a final confirmation to remove all print areas.

Successfully removed all print areas
Successfully removed all print areas

Upon successful operation, Excel will also show a notification dialog.

This macro clears the print area for hidden worksheets as well.

Based on a Condition

The following VBA code lets you clear print areas on a workbook if any of the worksheets contain the following Excel objects:

  • Tables
  • Charts
  • PivotTables

You can choose from any of these conditions and Excel VBA will remove the print area from all the worksheets that match the given criteria.

VBA script to clear print area based on conditions
VBA script to clear print area based on conditions
Sub ClearPrintAreasBasedOnCondition()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim condition As String
    Dim msg As String
    
    ' Show an input box to choose the condition
    condition = InputBox("Choose a condition: Chart, Table, or PivotTable")
    
    ' Loop through all worksheets
    For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
        Select Case LCase(condition)
            Case "chart"
                If HasChart(ws) Then ClearPrintArea ws
            Case "table"
                If HasTable(ws) Then ClearPrintArea ws
            Case "pivottable"
                If HasPivotTable(ws) Then ClearPrintArea ws
        End Select
    Next ws
    
    ' Display a notification dialog box
    msg = "Print areas cleared based on the condition: " & condition
    MsgBox msg, vbInformation, "Print Area Cleared"
End Sub

Function HasChart(ws As Worksheet) As Boolean
    ' Check if the worksheet contains a chart
    On Error Resume Next
    HasChart = (ws.ChartObjects.Count > 0)
    On Error GoTo 0
End Function

Function HasTable(ws As Worksheet) As Boolean
    ' Check if the worksheet contains a table
    On Error Resume Next
    HasTable = (ws.ListObjects.Count > 0)
    On Error GoTo 0
End Function

Function HasPivotTable(ws As Worksheet) As Boolean
    ' Check if the worksheet contains a PivotTable
    On Error Resume Next
    HasPivotTable = (ws.PivotTables.Count > 0)
    On Error GoTo 0
End Function

Sub ClearPrintArea(ws As Worksheet)
    ' Clear the print area for the specified worksheet
    ws.PageSetup.PrintArea = ""
End Sub
Condition for print area removal
Condition for print area removal

Upon code execution, VBA will show an input box so you can enter a condition from three options. The given conditions are case and spelling-sensitive.

Depending on your input, Excel will clear the print area from all worksheets matching the conditions you supply.

Clear print area in Excel based on a condition
Clear print area in Excel based on a condition

If you enter the right condition, Excel will delete the print areas from select worksheets. You’ll also get a confirmation notification.

After Saving A Workbook

Suppose, you’ve created a print area in your worksheet and have printed a document with the selective content.

Often you forget to remove this print area. When a collaborator or colleague tries to print the worksheet again, they get the same content in the printed sheet. Probably, they wanted to print the whole document.

In this scenario, you can use the following VBA script to create a powerful and smart macro. The macro will wipe off all print areas in a workbook and save it in its original location.

VAB script to clear print area and save file
VAB script to clear the print area and save file
Sub ClearPrintAreaAndSave()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim filePath As String
    Dim fileName As String
    
    ' Set the file path and name (modify as needed)
    filePath = ThisWorkbook.Path & Application.PathSeparator
    fileName = ThisWorkbook.Name
    
    For Each ws In Worksheets
        ws.PageSetup.PrintArea = ""
    Next
    
    ' Save the workbook
    ThisWorkbook.SaveAs filePath & fileName
    MsgBox "Workbook saved successfully!", vbInformation, "Confirmation"
End Sub
VBA script autosaving the file
VBA script autosaving the file

When you run this VBA, it’ll clear all print areas and attempt to save the file in the source location.

It’ll show the above notification before saving.

You need to click Yes to save the file.

For Sheets with a Specific Word in the Name

Suppose, there are hundreds of worksheets in your workbook. Some of those worksheets start with the word “Inventory”. You’d like to clear any print area for all the worksheets that start with this word. In this scenario, you can use the following VBA script:

Clear print area script for specific word
Clear print area script for specific word
Sub ClearPrintAreaForSpecificSheets()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim targetWord As String

    ' Show input box to enter the target word
    targetWord = InputBox("Enter the target word for worksheet names:")

    ' Loop through each worksheet
    For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
        ' Check if sheet name contains the target word (case-insensitive)
        If InStr(1, ws.Name, targetWord, vbTextCompare) > 0 Then
            ' Clear the print area
            ws.PageSetup.PrintArea = ""
        End If
    Next ws

    ' Show confirmation message
    MsgBox "Print areas cleared for sheets containing '" & targetWord & "'.", vbInformation, "Print Area Cleared"
End Sub
 
Enter target word in sheet name
Enter target word in sheet name

When you execute the ClearPrintAreaForSpecificSheets macro, you get an input box. There, you can enter the target word in the worksheet name subjected to print area removal by VBA. The input isn’t case-sensitive.

Notification confirming successful VBA action
Notification confirming successful VBA action

Once the action is over, you see a confirmation dialog box.

Conclusions

Your search for how to clear print area in Excel ends here. You’ve learned all the best methods to get rid of the print area. I’ve also mentioned a few methods to save the print area but print the whole worksheet on paper.

Did the article help you print the appropriate content? Do you know a better method that I might have missed? Comment below!

About the Author

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha is a technical content writer with 10+ years of experience in the technology industry. She previously worked in a SaaS software development company focused on SharePoint, OneDrive, Word, Excel, Word solutions.

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