Microsoft Excel How-to: Print Header Row on the Top of Every Page

excel logoDo you have a spreadsheet that spans multiple pages, with a descriptive header at the top of the sheet? If you do, you probably want to have the header print at the top of each page. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by setting the Print Titles in the page setup options.

These examples use Excel 2003 running on Windows XP. Different versions of Excel on different operating systems may look slightly different than the screens shown here, but the basic functionality should be the same.

The easiest way to see what your printed page is going to look like is to look at the spreadsheet in 'Print Preview' mode:

 

excel header print page 01

 

Once you're in Print Preview mode you'll be able to see what the spreadsheet will look like when printed. It will default to page one, where you can see the header row:

 

excel header print page 02

 

I've clicked on the 'Next' button to get to the second page of this sheet, where you can see that the header row isn't going to print here (or any subsequent pages, if the spreadsheet was longer):

 

excel header print page 03

 

You need to go into 'Page Setup' to configure the print settings of what Excel calls 'Print Titles', the area that you can configure to print on every page. It includes rows to repeat at the top and columns to repeat on the left of the spreadsheet. To get to it first close the Print Preview window, then go to File -> Page Setup...:

You can get to Page Setup from the Print Preview screen, but you can't configure any of the printing options while you have the sheet in print preview mode. This is why I have you cancel out of it first,

 

excel header print page 04

 

Once you've selected Page Setup you'll get the dialog box with all of the global page configuration options. Click on the 'Sheet' tab to get to the printing configurations, then go to the 'Rows to repeat at top' box. You'll see a button at the right side of the of box that's called the 'Collapse Dialog button', its purpose is to temporarily collapse the dialog box so that you can enter the range of cells that you want by actually selecting cells in the worksheet. This can be substantially faster and easier than typing in the values, as you are actually selecting the range of cells that you want so it is taking all of the guesswork out of it:

 

excel header print page 05

 

Click on the collapse dialog button to the right of the 'Rows to repeat at top' box, then click anywhere on the top row. You'll notice that you will only be able to select rows from this option, as shown by the solid right-facing arrow:

 

excel header print page 06

 

Click anywhere on the first row and the box will get filled in with the appropriate values for the row. Click once again on the Collapse dialog button to restore the dialog box:

 

excel header print page 07

 

Once the dialog box is restored all you need to do is to click on OK to save your changes:

 

excel header print page 08

 

Now, when you go back to Print preview and go to the second page you will see that the header row from the top of the sheet will be duplicated on that page, and every other page of the spreadsheet:

 

excel header print page 09