How to Change Page Orientation in Excel (for Printing)

When you print a worksheet in Microsoft Excel, it gets printed in the portrait orientation by default.

However, you might want to change the orientation of the printout to landscape or vice-versa.

In this tutorial, we will go over three ways to change the page orientation in Microsoft Excel:

  • using the Page Layout Menu
  • using the Page Setup Launcher Tool
  • using the Print Preview Mode

In the end, we will also discuss how you can override the default portrait mode by creating a template that is set to print in landscape mode.

Why Change Page Orientation in Excel?

There can be two types of page orientations  – Portrait and Landscape.

Portrait orientation means that your page will be longer, instead of wider, while in landscape orientation, your page will be wider, rather than longer.

Printing in landscape orientation is usually required when you have a lot of columns in your worksheet.

Printing in portrait, in such cases, can make your printout look quite cramped up as you try to accommodate all the columns into a single page.

3 ways to Change Page Orientation in Excel

Let us take a look at three ways in which you can change your page orientation from portrait to landscape and vice-versa.

Method 1: Changing Page Orientation in Excel using the Page Layout Menu

This method involves using the ‘Orientation’ drop-down menu, that is part of the Page Layout tab.

Here are the steps:

  1. Select the area of your worksheet that you want to print. You can do this by dragging your mouse around your print area.
Dataset for changing the page orientation
  1. Select the Page Layout tab.You will find this in the top portion of your Excel window.
Click on Page layout tab
  1. Under the Page Layout tab, you will find the ‘Page Setup’ group. This lets you specify your required page-related print options.
Page setup group
  1. Click on the ‘Orientation’ button.
Click on Orientation
  1. This will display a drop-down menu that lets you select the orientation of your printed page. Select your required orientation.
Select landscape as the page orientation
  1. Make sure to provide other page settings like, the Print area, Page size, etc.
  2. Finally, check how your printout is going to look by navigating to File->Print. Your page should now be in your required orientation.
Check how the printout will look

This was one way of setting your page orientation. Let’s look at other ways.

Method 2: Changing Page Orientation in Excel using the Page Setup Launcher Tool

Although the first method is pretty much straightforward, let’s also discuss a second way to change your page orientation.

This method involves using a dialog box launcher tool. A dialog box launcher ( ) is a tiny icon that appears in a group. This tool acts as a shortcut to open dialog boxes or task panes related to the relevant group. In this way, you get more related options.

To change your page orientation, you can use the the Page Setup Launcher/ Here are the steps:

  1. Select the area of your worksheet that you want to print.
  2. Select the Page Layout tab.
  3. Under this tab, look for the ‘Page Setup’ group of tools. At the bottom right corner of this group, you’ll see a tiny dialog box launcher tool ( ). Click this tool to launch the Page Setup dialog box.
Click on the dialog box launcher
  1. The Page Setup dialog box should now appear. Select the ‘Page’  tab at the top of the dialog box.
Click on the page tab
  1. Right at the top of this tab’s window, you will see two options under ‘Orientation’ Portrait and Landscape. Select your required option.
Select landscape as the orientation
  1. Your page should now be set in your required orientation. To check if it is done right, you can see a preview of how your page will look after printing. For this, click on the Print Preview button at the bottom of the window.
Click on Print Preview
  1. This will take you to the Print menu, where you can see your print preview. If you like how it looks, you can directly print from here.
Check if the print preview looks fine

Method 3: Changing Page Orientation in Excel using Print Preview Mode

If your page is already set to print and you see from the preview on the right hand side that you need to change the page orientation, then you can directly reach the Page Setup dialog box from there.

Here’s how to change page orientation directly from Print mode:

  1. If you’re not already in Print preview mode, then press CTRL+P (if you’re on a Mac, press Cmd+P), or navigate to File->Print. This will bring you to Print Preview mode.
  2. On the left hand side, you will see a list of options (drop down menus) under Settings. Select the third option from here, where it either says ‘Landscape orientation’ or ‘Portrait orientation’, depending on the current page setting. This menu is to let you select your page orientation.
Click on Potrait orientation
  1. When you click on this option, you should see a dropdown menu from where you can select your required page orientation.
Select the orientation from the drop down
  1. You can specify all your print settings directly from the print preview mode. Make your required page setting changes (like page size, page scale, page margins, etc.)
  2. If you’re ready to print now, you can go ahead and press the large Print button on the left hand side.
Click on the Print option

Creating an Excel Template to have a default Landscape Orientation

As mentioned before, Excel always has the default page orientation set to Portrait mode whenever you open a new workbook. However, if you frequently need to print in landscape mode, you can save time by setting up a workbook template configured to print in landscape. 

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Open  a new Excel workbook.
  2. Excel lets you specify different page orientation settings for different worksheets in a workbook. Select the worksheets for which you want to change the orientation to landscape.
  3. You can also specify other print settings, as well as whatever standard formatting you want to apply.
  4. From the File tab, select Save As.
  5. This will open the Save As dialog box. Select the location where you want to save the workbook template, give the template file a name.
  6. Next to ‘Save as Type’, click on the dropdown list and select ‘Excel Template’ (to save the file as ‘.xltx’ file). If your workbook contains macros  that you want to use in your template, select the Excel Macro-enabled Template (to save as  ‘.xltm’ file) option instead.
Select Excel Macro enabled template
  1. Click Save.

This will save the template automatically to the Templates folder. And you can use this template to create new workbooks.

Now, every time you want to open a new workbook with the Landscape page orientation, you can use this saved template as follows:

  1. Select New from the File tab.
Click on New file
  1. Click the ‘Personal’ tab from the right hand side of the screen. Alternatively you can type the name of your template in the Search bar on the right side. 
Click on the Personal tab
  1. Click your template’s name.
Click your template’s name

You should now have a new workbook with your preferred page settings.

In this tutorial we showed you three ways to change page orientation for your Excel worksheets.

We also showed you how to create an Excel template with your required page orientation so that you don’t need to change the orientation each time you open a new workbook.

We hope this was helpful for you.

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