Archive for August, 2014

Some Icon Set Images in Excel Won’t Print

August 1, 2014 Leave a comment

The original file that prompted this post had many more elements in it than the example I will use. I’ve cut out a lot of the hours (and I mean hours) of random troubleshooting tangents I went on and tried to simplify it to get to the core of the issue. This one is going to be a screenshot happy post.

A user reported an issue she was having with an Excel file where some images were not printing. The spreadsheet has grouped rows with summary rows for each. There is a Conditional Formatting rule that displays the green, yellow, and red icon sets based on percentages. The print area has been set to include only the cells with data.


Groups collapsed

1 Collapsed

Groups expanded

2 Expanded


Conditional formatting rule

3 CF Rule


When printing some of the icons in the print preview (and the print job) were missing.

4 Print Preview

If I remove the print area and expand the groups they all show up in the pint preview.

5 Print Preview

So what’s causing this??? Merged cells and page breaks. More specifically, when merged cells are outside of the print area but are adjacent to cells that contain an icon from a conditional formatting rule, the icon will not print. In the screenshot below I have filled in the merged cells in blue.

6 Merged Cells

In the current scenario B3, B8, and B13 would be an issue but they are not currently on a page break. B18 and F7 on the other hand are a problem because they are outside the print area but right next to a cell that contains an icon. When a group is collapsed it is technically no longer considered to be in the print area.

The fix is simple, unmerge the cells. Now the print preview shows the icons!

7 Print Preview


This is definitely a bug.

Here’s a link to my sample file if you are interested. Sample.xlsx

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