Microsoft Excel

Chart Printing

Embedded charts printing

You can print embedded charts in two ways. The first approach is to print your worksheet exactly as it appears on the screen, with a mix of data and floating charts. In this case, you'll need to take special care to make sure your charts aren't positioned over any data you need to read in the printout. To double-check, use Page Layout view (choose View > Workbook Views > Page Layout View).

You could also print out the embedded chart on a separate page, which is surprisingly easy. Just click the chart to select it, and then choose Office Button > Print (or Office Button > Print > Print Preview to see what it'll look like). When you do so, Excel's standard choice is to print your chart using landscape orientation, so that the long edge of the page is along the bottom, and the chart's wider than it is tall. Landscape is usually the best way to align a chart, especially if it holds a large amount of data, so Excel automatically uses landscape orientation no matter what page orientation you've configured for your worksheet. If you want to change the chart orientation, select the chart, then choose Page Layout > Page Setup > Orientation > Portrait. Now your chart uses upright alignment, just as you may see in a portrait-style painting.

If you select an orientation from the Page Layout > Page Setup > Orientation list while your chart is selected, you don't end up configuring the orientation for the worksheet itself. Instead you configure the embedded chart's orientation when you print it out on a separate page. If you want to configure the orientation for the whole worksheet, make sure nothing else is selected when you choose an orientation.

Excel also includes some page setup options that are specific to charts. To see these options, head to the Page Layout > Page Setup section, click the dialog launcher in the bottom-right corner to show the Page Setup dialog box, and then choose the Chart tab (which appears only when you've got a chart currently selected). You'll see an option to print a chart using lower print quality ("Draft quality"), and in black and white instead of color ("Print in black and white").

Standalone Charts Printing

If you're using a standalone chart, your chart always prints out on a separate page, sized to fit the whole page. To print out just the chart page alone (rather than the whole workbook), switch to the chart's worksheet, and then choose Office Button > Print. To print out the entire workbook which prints your data worksheet and chart worksheet on different pages look in the "Print what" section and select the "Entire workbook" option.

Excel automatically sets all chart worksheets to Landscape orientation, which orients the page so that the long edge runs horizontally across the bottom. If this layout isn't what you want, before you print the chart, choose Page Layout > Page Setup > Orientation > Portrait. Remember, if you're still not sure how your printout will look, you can always use the handy Page Layout View to see a sneak preview.