Restoring Classic Print Preview in Excel 2010/2013

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xfgiro/istock
19

Long-term Excel users will recall that Excel has historically provided a separate Print Preview window that made it easy to zoom in and adjust settings. Excel 2010 introduced a new "Backstage View" where print preview became embedded into the File menu. Excel 2013 continues this new tradition, but you can get your "old-school" print preview functionality back with a few quick steps.

To accomplish this, we're going to add an icon to Excel's Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). As shown in Figure 1, the QAT typically resides at the top of your Excel screen and serves as a custom toolbar of your making. To begin:
  • Right-click on the QAT and then choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar.
  • When the Excel Options dialog box appears, choose Commands Not in the Ribbon.

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By sam
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Thanks David, this was helpful

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By David Ringstrom
Nate
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

My pleasure!

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By kartik
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

thanks a ton, the default way is actually quite painful, the full screen preview is better anyday

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By David Ringstrom
TaxMama
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

I agree. I was so glad to be able to figure this out.

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By robert
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

great tip. thanks very much.

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By David Ringstrom
Virginia Nicols
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Thanks for the feedback!

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By PE
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

THANK YOU - M$ once again made things worse for real working people .. this saves me time and effort .. along with being able to see what I am looking at .

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By David Ringstrom
JacquelineButler
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

You're quite welcome...thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts!

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By noob
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Holly molly man!!!! I've been cursing a lot lately, trying to get rid of the half-screen print preview. I've looked around for the past year in vain, but thanks to you I don't have to double my screen size just to preview a word document. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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By David Ringstrom
JJ Collins
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

You're quite welcome. I'm glad you ran across my work and found it so helpful!

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By Janice
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

I love you!! I HATE how unwieldy Backstage view is. This hack, plus your other hack about turning off Backstage when opening/saving, is awesome!! As a bonus with this hack, my keyboard shortcuts for Page Setup ("s") and Print ("t") still work!

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By David Ringstrom
CliffB
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Somehow I missed your comment earlier in the year. I'm so glad that you found my articles helpful! The "backstage" might be good for beginners, but it makes experienced Excel users want to pull their hair out.

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By Adam Babarik
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Just want to join the bandwagon and say thanks! Just found this, and it's really great to know I can go back to normal. The new view really sucks. Cheers, Adam

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By David Ringstrom
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Thanks, Adam! Yes, jamming Print Preview into the File menu forces us to choose between eyestrain or seeing 1/4 of your page at a time, neither of which is acceptable to me. I'm always glad to hear when I can resolve a frustration in Excel.

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By junior
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Thanks a lot. This is the best tip of the year!

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By David Ringstrom
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

Thank you! It's one of my favorite Excel tricks.

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By Natsu One FIRST
Jun 26th 2015 01:12

Just found this and it saved me from a lot of frustration. The "backstage view" of Excel and Word 2013 is nearly useless and I wonder why Microsoft is hiding such a basic and important feature like the classic print preview from the general users.

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By David Ringstrom
Jun 26th 2015 01:12

I agree...the Backstage View was introduced in Excel 2010, and I was thrilled to find this hidden technique. It's always a winner when I teach it in Excel classes.

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Jan 20th 2016 19:59

I agree with all of the other respondents. It's great to have this functionality at the click of a button. I am having a little trouble with it, though. I am creating a flow chart by inserting standard Excel shapes. When I go to "Print Preview Full Screen", any shape, or part of a shape, that is on the bottom 1/3 of the page is cut off. It's not that they aren't there. I know this because it shows up in the "Print Preview And Print" screen. Also, if I send it to the printer they print. Has anyone else seen this? Any ideas on what might be causing it?

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