Microsoft KB Archive/169053

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Article ID: 169053

Article Last Modified on 9/7/2001


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q169053


When you print a worksheet in Microsoft Excel 97 that has comments, and select the As Displayed On Sheet option in the Comments box of the Page Setup dialog box, the comments may not be printed as expected. This problem may occur if comments are placed on or near a page break.


This behavior will vary, depending on the active printer driver, and is expected behavior. Comments in Microsoft Excel 97 are drawing objects, just like rectangles and text boxes. You may see similar problems with other drawing objects placed on or near a page break.

Use the following information for the following examples:

  1. Type the following information into a worksheet:

           A1:  100     B1:  100     C1:  100     D1:  100     E1:
           A2:  200     B2:  200     C2:  200     D2:  200     E2:
           A3:  300     B3:  300     C3:  300     D3:  300     E3:
           A4:  400     B4:  400     C4:  400     D4:  400     E4:
           A5:  500     B5:  500     C5:  500     D5:  500     E5:
           A6:  600     B6:  600     C6:  600     D6:  600     E6:
           A7:  700     B7:  700     C7:  700     D7:  700     E7:
           A8:  800     B8:  800     C8:  800     D8:  800     E8:
           A9:  900     B9:  900     C9:  900     D9:  900     E9:
           A10:         B10:         C10:         D10:         E10:
  2. Select cell E1.
  3. On the Insert menu, click Page Break.
  4. Using the right mouse button (right-click), click cell D1, and click Insert Comment on the shortcut menu. Type This is a test.
  5. Right-click cell D1 and click Show Comment.
  6. Right-click cell D4 and click Insert Comment on the shortcut menu. Type This is a test.
  7. Right-click cell D4 and click Show Comment.
  8. With the comment selected, move it to cell D6 and position it so that half is over column D and half is over column E.
  9. Right-click cell B4 and click Insert Comment on the shortcut menu. Type This is a test.
  10. Right-click cell B4 and click Show Comment.
  11. With the comment selected, move it to cell D10 and position it so that one-fourth is over column D and three-fourths is over column E.
  12. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  13. Select the Sheet tab.
  14. In the Comments box, select As Displayed On Sheet, and then click OK.

Example 1

The comment entered in cell D4 is to the immediate left of the vertical page break. Notice that the comment is displayed to the immediate right of the vertical page break. When viewed in Print Preview, this comment will be printed on page two of the printout, rather than on page one where the actual cell is printed. When set to print as displayed, comments, just as objects, will print where they are placed, which is not necessarily on the same page as the cell contents. For example, the comment at cell D4 can be moved to page three, and it will then print on page three. If the comment needs to be printed on page one, you have the option of manually moving it to page one.

Example 2

The comment for cell D6 prints all on page one, even though it crosses over the page break on screen. This is due to a by-design feature of Microsoft Excel 97 where the page-break boundaries are different, in some cases, for objects than for text, because objects do not have to be tied to column widths. For the text in this example, the page break then occurs after column D (as displayed by the dashed line on screen), and in preview, there is a lot of blank space to the right of column D. But those objects, including comments, that cross a page break get to use the "blank space" between the last column that fits on a page and the right margin, and therefore, if the Print As Displayed option is enabled, the comment will print on page one because it, itself, will fit. It was decided that it was better to print the objects if they would fit, even if the underlying text wouldn't. Another complicating factor is that the objects and fonts displayed at the ~72 dpi screen resolution do not always map correctly to the typically much higher printer resolution, which in addition to the factor above, can cause the two halves of an object on a page break to not match exactly when printed. This is also the reason why the comment for cell B4 will print on page two instead of page one like the comment in D6.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbprint KB169053