Excel Chart sizes are different when printed and viewed on screen

When working with Charts in MS Excel it is important that what you see on the screen is shown exactly the same when printed out (or even in the print preview). A recent example is shown below where, on the screen the charts are all exactly lined up, but in print preview and when printed, some of the charts are smaller or not in line.

Chart screen view versus print preview

Below this is what we see on the screen. Note that the 4 elements (1 slicer and 3 charts) all line up to column R.

Excel Chart sizes are different when printed

However, when we do a print preview, the bottom 2 charts are no longer lined up.

Excel Chart sizes are different when printed

In this case we discovered that it had to do with the chart properties. If you right click on each chart and choose the Format Chart Area, under the Properties section you will see that the chart is set to ‘Don’t move or size with cells’. You can change it to ‘Move and size with cells’ and the print preview and screen view will tie up better.

Excel Chart sizes are different when printed

It is unclear why this happens, but as useful as the ‘Don’t move or size with cells’ is, we often find that it causes other problems. You will need to be careful when using it, and typically we only switch it on right at the end of an assignment when everything else is done.

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