How to Change the Print Layout of iWork Numbers

By David Weedmark

Apple's Numbers application, available on all Mac computers, gives you extensive control over the appearance of spreadsheets, charts and other documents when you print them or save them to PDF files. Most of these options are available from the application's Print Preview sidebar, but you can also customize a spreadsheet's layout in the document itself by repositioning it in the document or hiding blank rows and columns so they don't appear in the printed version.

Using Print Setup

Step 1

Launch Numbers and open any document. Select "Print" from the File menu to open the Print Setup sidebar. The page size and orientation in the Print Setup sidebar are taken from the document size and orientation, but you can change these.

Step 2

Click the "Fit" button in the Content Scale section to scale the document content to fit on the chosen page size. Alternatively, drag the "Content Scale" slider to the right to make the content larger or to the left to make it smaller.

Step 3

Click the "Repeat Table Headers" check box to select whether you want headers to appear on each printed page. If you only want headers on the first page, clear this check box.

Step 4

Click the Page Margins menus to select how much blank space should appear around your spreadsheet. Use the first four menus to adjust the top, bottom, left and right margins. Add additional space by adjusting the Header and Footer menus.

Step 5

Select "All Sheets" to print all the sheets in the file or select "This Sheet" to print only the selected sheet.

Step 6

Click the "Done" button to save the print layout. If you are printing a copy now, reopen the Print Setup sidebar by selecting "Print" from the File menu. Choose your printer from the "Printer" menu at the top of the Print Setup sidebar. Click the "Print" button to print the document. If you want to print your work to a PDF file instead of paper, click the "Print" button, followed by the "PDF" button and select "Save as PDF."

Hiding Blank Cells

Step 1

Open any spreadsheet in Numbers and click on it. Note that there are four buttons -- one in each corner of the spreadsheet. One button has a circle in it, one looks like a pause button, one resembles an equals sign and one looks like an inverted "L." These four movement buttons are used to adjust the spreadsheet before printing.

Step 2

Drag the bottom right movement button toward the center of the spreadsheet. As you move the button, the empty cells on the bottom and right of the spreadsheet are removed from view.

Step 3

Drag the upper right movement button to the left to remove only blank columns at the right of the document from view. Drag the bottom left movement button upward to remove empty rows from view.

Step 4

Drag the upper left movement button downward or to the right to reposition the spreadsheet. For example, if you hide all but two columns, you can move the spreadsheet to the right so it is centered on the page, rather than being positioned on the extreme left when you print it.

Step 5

Press "Command-P" to see a print preview of the table. Readjust the table position as needed before printing the sheet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pressing "Command-R" on the keyboard while working on a Numbers sheet causes rulers to appear on the top and left of the table. Press "Command-R" again to hide the rulers.
  • If you take pains to customize the print layout, you can save it as a template by selecting "Save as Template" from the File menu. This template appears as an option the next time you open Numbers and select "New Document."
  • Information in this article applies to Numbers version 3.2 on Mac OS X Mavericks. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.