MacMost Now 649: iWork Numbers Printing Tips

You can create nice-looking printouts from Numbers, but the options to do so aren't always obvious. Learn how to view your spreadsheets in layout view, adjust scaling, darken borders and use styles and design elements to create nicer Numbers printouts.

Video Transcript
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at creating nice quality printouts from Numbers.
So here is one of my tips for creating nice-looking printouts from Numbers. Now here are my sample data. The first thing I'm going to show you is using the header column and the header row appropriately.
I've got in the header row my information to head each column and I've got in the header column here the information.
I'm not just starting the data here, I'm deleting these and starting completely blank spreadsheet. I'm actually using these columns appropriately, and that's going to be important for creating nice-looking printouts.
So the second thing is that I want to actually shorten this table so it just has the data, no extra cells.
So if I scroll down here I can grab the bottom corner - there's many ways to do this -- and drag it up and basically condense it down. So I'm just using this. I've got a nice condensed table with no extra rows or columns.
Now the basic from here is I'm simply going to go File and then Print. And you'll see here I get a preview of what I'm doing, and you can see it's pretty small, if it's in the corner of the page, here. It's hard to tell from this, but you got the lines are pretty light, pretty thin, so I want to go and make this nicer looking.
So the first thing that I want to do is I want to go to the bottom here, and click here to turn on 'PrintView.'
And you could see here I've got an edge to the table now on the side. I can actually scroll up and down; I can see the edges of the page here. You can also bring this up by going into View and Hide Print View, Show Print View, like that.
Now I've got content scale on the bottom, and since this is only taking upa portion of the space, I want to actually scale it up as much as I can.
I can also switch orientation here, so I've got this I can switch to vertical orientation instead of horizontal and you can see now, it actually splits the data on two pages.
One of the interesting things here is that it takes my header column here, and it actually shows that on the second page -- not that useful for a small table, like this one, but if you have a lot of data and it's spread across many pages, of course, that's extremely useful.
So now that I'm going to do this vertically, I'm going to shrink it a little bit here, and now it'll all fit on one.
If I were to print now you can see, already, it's looking better on the page.
So, the next thing I want to do is to darken the lines here, it always prints lines too lightly for my tastes, so I'm going to -- I can select the entire chart, I can select anything I want here -- and I'm going to go ahead and go up to the upper-right area here in the toolbar, and I can change the information about the lines. So I'm going to make it a thicker line there.
Now I'm going to darken the lines here. I'm going to select the table and set it aside cell and I'm going click here and select the entire table, bring up the Inspector, select the table here at the top and then I'm going to change the line, to make it a solid line, and I'm going to make it 2 pt so you can already see the line is thicker, and I'm going to make a black line, like that. And now when I print, I can definitely see those lines very clearly.
Now, if you have a lot of data, it's sometimes hard to read on a sheet of paper so one of the things I'd like to do is alternate colors for each of the rows. So I can bring up the Inspector here -- let's select this table again, here, and select the entire table.
And then I'm going to go down here -- you see 'Alternating Row Color' and right now the Alternating Row Color's white, which is the same as the primary row color, so I'm going to change that to something a little darker. And now you can see it alternates there. If you want to change a particular color for a row or column like -- let's make this header row darker here -- you can select it like that, and I've got the fill right here. I'll click on that. I'll make that darker, and you can do the same for these I can just select them individually or select a group of them - I'll make it a color here like that.
Now you also have styles here, on the toolbar on the left. So, for instance, I can switch to one of these and change things. I've made some customizations so it's going to combine, kind of, what I've customized and the things here. I can simply Clear and Apply Style, and it'll change it completely to the style that's here. So I get this nice look here. And maybe I want to add 'Alternating Row Color' to it; and you can see it already has a color for the alternate rows, for the styles. So as soon as I turn that on, I get a very nice-looking table there. Kind of print that out That's going to look pretty good, especially if you have a color printer.
Now, also, in the Inspector, in addition to the table data here, I have the sheet data as well, and there I have another way to access the scale and the layouts. I also can set page numbers and print margins, and I can set it to use the Printer Margins, which are just a quarter inch for this printer, or I can set my own here, which can be really useful.
And I can also then go to the document settings here, and format it for specifically for a printer or for a page size. Now I also have the ability to do headers and footers here. You can see them when I roll over, if I go to 'View' and 'Show Layout' then you can see it right there; you can actually see the margins. You can type something in the footer here, and a header there that will appear on each page.
And finally, when you do go to 'Print,' then -- notice you can click the 'Show Details' button here -- and then you get some more settings. For instance, you can go switch from numbers here, and it has the option to include formulas on a different sheet here. And you can see it right there. You could also go and switch to layouts, page handling, and even add a cover page, and then specific printer features, like you can for a lot of applications.
Now another thing to keep in mind is, a sheet here is kind of like a canvas: you can do a lot of different things with it besides putting tables on it. So I've got this table here. Suppose I want to add a textbox; I can just click here and add a textbox and maybe put a title up here. It'll even center it very nicely. Let me go and move this down And you can see I've got a textbox there. I'm going to put something there, maybe make it bold, and then I've got a nice heading on it. I can put Say if there were some explanation I wanted to put for what this chart's about, I can add some more text down here below, and type some text here that summarizes, kind of, what the person's seeing. I can also create shapes. I'll put all sorts of shapes. So, for instance, I can put something like this, and this is a textbox as well.
So I can put some things in there, even some comments here, like a little post-it note that I could put something on. So there's a lot of different things I could add: add some arrows if I want to point something out like that. I could point out an interesting sales number in a box.
There are a lot of different things I can do and, of course, if I have multiple tables on here, I can even include charts, so if I wanted to turn this into a chart, I could create it and -- of course, I have everything scaled up, but I can shrink it down and then include that on the sheet as well. And you can see it's all included on the same piece of paper, really, and I can just move these things around and create very nice-looking pages to create.
So there's my look at some tips for creating some nice printouts using numbers. Remember, you can also save as PDF from that print dialog, which is useful if you want to email somebody a copy, or send it to a place to have it printed, or you just want to give it to somebody, and they may not have Numbers or you may not want to give them an editable copy of the spreadsheet. Hope you found this useful. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 649: iWork Numbers Printing Tips”

    Gary Stone
    1/1/12 @ 8:06 pm

    Dear Gary,

    Excellent video. I use spreadsheets often at work, and I always wondered what the correct procedure is to make them print out nicely. Thanks.

    Amy
    8/17/12 @ 9:51 am

    I’m having trouble formatting my spreadsheet-I only want to print select data in my spreadsheet. Is there a way to do this?

      8/17/12 @ 1:36 pm

      The best way to do it is to design the spreadsheet so the area you need to print is in its own table on its own worksheet. Then just print that worksheet.
      But if you are using a pre-existing table and don’t want to re-arrange it, then you can copy and paste that area into a new document temporarily to print it.

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