Restoring Classic Print Preview in Excel 2010/2013

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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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Thanks David, this was helpful

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My pleasure!

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

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

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great tip. thanks very much.

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Thanks for the feedback!

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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