How Do I Print Out Row Numbers for My Excel Spreadsheet?

By C. Taylor

Microsoft Excel 2013 omits row numbers and column letters when printing a worksheet or workbook. However, if you need to reference or locate printed data, it's often convenient to have a guide so you can quickly lead another reviewer to the pertinent data entry. Selecting the Row and Column Headings option in Excel's Print Titles utility adds row numbers to the printout, but you can't separately add row numbers without also including column letters.

A1 Vs R1C1 Referencing Style

By default, Excel references cells using the A1 reference style that contains a column letter, followed by a row number. The optional R1C1 reference style uses numbers for both rows and columns. Furthermore, references in this latter system are relative to the cell that uses the reference. To illustrate the difference, if you referenced B3 from cell C1 using the A1 system, the reference changes to "R[2]C[-1]" in the R1C1 system to reference the cell two rows down and one column to the left. To change reference systems, click "File," "Options" and then "Formulas." Check or deselect "R1C1 Reference Style" to enable or disable this optional system.

Selecting Sheets

Enabling row numbers, headings or grid lines occurs only on the active group of sheets, so to print row numbers for multiple sheets, select either the appropriate options on each individual sheet or select multiple sheets before changing the settings. Holding the "Ctrl" key while clicking a sheet tab adds the sheet to the active group; holding the "Ctrl" key while clicking a selected tab removes it from the active group. You can also click the first sheet tab in a range, hold the "Shift" key and then click the last sheet tab to also select all sheets in between.

Printing Row and Column Headers

Click "Print Titles" in the Page Layout's Page Setup group or click the small arrow at the bottom right of the Page Layout's Sheet Options group. Check "Row and Column Headers" and then click "OK" to add row numbers and column letters to each page of the printout for selected sheets. You can also check "Print" in the Headings section of the Sheet Options Group to print this information on all selected sheets.

Printing User-Defined Headers

If your worksheet includes row headings, such as data identifier numbers, optionally add these headings by clicking "Print Titles" in the Page Layout tab's Page Setup group. Reference the columns in the "Columns to Repeat at Left" field, such as entering "$A:$B" to include the first two columns. Likewise, specify rows in the "Rows to Repeat at Top" field to also include column headers.

Printing Gridlines

To aid in referencing rows using the row number, consider adding gridlines, so your eyes more readily follow data across the printed page. Check "Print" in the Gridlines section of the Page Layout's Sheet Options group to print gridlines on all selected sheets. You can also click "Print Titles" in the Page Setup group, check "Gridlines" and then click "OK."