EXCEL 2007: Formatting, Saving, Printing and Copying

A. Colin Cameron, Dept. of Economics, Univ. of Calif. - Davis

This January 2009 help sheet gives information on how to


Enter in the cars per household data in file carsdata.xls

Cars data

Suppose we wish to give the first series a long name: CARS PER HOUSEHOLD.
This yields

Cars data long name

Only the first part of CARS PER HOUSEHOLD is displayed.
The cell width needs to be increased. This can be done in one of several ways.

  1. Place the cursor between shaded areas A and B at the top of spreadsheet and double-click.
  2. Place the cursor between shaded areas A and B, click and drag to the right to increase width.
  3. Place the cursor within shaded area A, click to highlight the column, right click and choose column width and make it larger.
  4. Place the cursor within shaded area A,  click to highlight the column and chose Format | Cells.
Cars data long name

Methods 3 and 4 can also be used to change other aspects of cell format.


When you open up Excel it creates a workbook (the master document), which is composed of one or more worksheets.
You should save the workbook on your diskette with a name that identifies it as your class or project workbook, e.g. for Economics 102 I might use ecn102cam, by choosing Office Button and Save As.
You can save each class session and homework on a separate worksheet within this workbook. When you first open the workbook it puts you in Sheet1. You can rename this to e.g. intro by double-clicking on the Sheet1 tab at the bottom of the screen and typing intro at the rename prompt. Sheet2 might become Ass2 etc.
Save results frequently.


To save paper always do a print preview first (Office Button / Print / Print Preview).

For nicer output of a worksheet you can change the column widths if need be by moving the cursor to the vertical line that separates the column headers, e.g. between A and B.
This was discussed above under formatting.

For nicer output of a worksheet you can choose Page Layout tab, Scale to Fit group, click on bottom wight arrow which opens up the Page Setup dialgog box.
On the Page Tab under Scaling Select the Fit to option.
For example if the output is just a bit over a page in print preview then select Fit to 1 page by 1 page.

Page setup 


For nicer output of charts that appear within the worksheet, move the mouse within the chart and click (this creates an additional border around the chart).
Then choose Home Button and select Print and the chart is printed on a separate page.


It is generally easy to copy individual charts to other software such as a word processor.

Microsoft Office software such as Word may maintain the Excel format of the chart when you read it in, so that it can later be edited.
Other software will instead save it as a picture, often as a WIndows meta-file (.wmf).


This is particularly done to copy data from the spreadsheet into another program such as a word processor.

This will copy data across and insert it.
Interpretation of the data depends on what is copied across (e.g. data or chart) and the software it is copied to (e.g. word processor). As an example, if two columns of data are copied across they might be put into a two-column table in Word.


Rather than print nicely formatted Excel output on paper we may wish to copy it into a word processor or web page. This output may include both the data and some charts. This is a little tricky and may perhaps be deferred to a time when you really have reason to do this.

The picture itself does not appear in the file that is saved. The file that is saved instead has a reference to the picture. The picture will be saved with a name such as image001.gif. It is better to give this picture file a more meaningful name, but then you will also need to change the reference in the file that was saved.

If you have Adobe Acrobat Exchange (not just the reader) another way to digitally save the Excel output is to print the Excel file to a PDFWRITER which will save the file in pdf form. Other people can then read the output using a pdf viewer such as Adobe Acrobat reader.

For further information on how to use Excel go to