The Worksheet Class (Page Setup)

Page set-up methods affect the way that a worksheet looks to the user or when it is printed. They control features such as paper size, orientation, page headers and margins and gridlines.

These methods are really just standard worksheet methods. They are documented separately for the sake of clarity.



Set the page orientation as landscape.

This method is used to set the orientation of a worksheet’s printed page to landscape:




Set the page orientation as portrait.

This method is used to set the orientation of a worksheet’s printed page to portrait. The default worksheet orientation is portrait, so you won’t generally need to call this method:




Set the page view mode.

This method is used to display the worksheet in “Page View/Layout” mode:




Set the paper type.

Parameters:index (int) – The Excel paper format index.

This method is used to set the paper format for the printed output of a worksheet. The following paper styles are available:

Index Paper format Paper size
0 Printer default Printer default
1 Letter 8 1/2 x 11 in
2 Letter Small 8 1/2 x 11 in
3 Tabloid 11 x 17 in
4 Ledger 17 x 11 in
5 Legal 8 1/2 x 14 in
6 Statement 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 in
7 Executive 7 1/4 x 10 1/2 in
8 A3 297 x 420 mm
9 A4 210 x 297 mm
10 A4 Small 210 x 297 mm
11 A5 148 x 210 mm
12 B4 250 x 354 mm
13 B5 182 x 257 mm
14 Folio 8 1/2 x 13 in
15 Quarto 215 x 275 mm
16 10x14 in
17 11x17 in
18 Note 8 1/2 x 11 in
19 Envelope 9 3 7/8 x 8 7/8
20 Envelope 10 4 1/8 x 9 1/2
21 Envelope 11 4 1/2 x 10 3/8
22 Envelope 12 4 3/4 x 11
23 Envelope 14 5 x 11 1/2
24 C size sheet
25 D size sheet
26 E size sheet
27 Envelope DL 110 x 220 mm
28 Envelope C3 324 x 458 mm
29 Envelope C4 229 x 324 mm
30 Envelope C5 162 x 229 mm
31 Envelope C6 114 x 162 mm
32 Envelope C65 114 x 229 mm
33 Envelope B4 250 x 353 mm
34 Envelope B5 176 x 250 mm
35 Envelope B6 176 x 125 mm
36 Envelope 110 x 230 mm
37 Monarch 3.875 x 7.5 in
38 Envelope 3 5/8 x 6 1/2 in
39 Fanfold 14 7/8 x 11 in
40 German Std Fanfold 8 1/2 x 12 in
41 German Legal Fanfold 8 1/2 x 13 in

Note, it is likely that not all of these paper types will be available to the end user since it will depend on the paper formats that the user’s printer supports. Therefore, it is best to stick to standard paper types:

worksheet.set_paper(1)  # US Letter
worksheet.set_paper(9)  # A4

If you do not specify a paper type the worksheet will print using the printer’s default paper style.



Center the printed page horizontally.

Center the worksheet data horizontally between the margins on the printed page:




Center the printed page vertically.

Center the worksheet data vertically between the margins on the printed page:



set_margins([left=0.7,] right=0.7,] top=0.75,] bottom=0.75]]])

Set the worksheet margins for the printed page.

  • left (float) – Left margin in inches. Default 0.7.
  • right (float) – Right margin in inches. Default 0.7.
  • top (float) – Top margin in inches. Default 0.75.
  • bottom (float) – Bottom margin in inches. Default 0.75.

The set_margins() method is used to set the margins of the worksheet when it is printed. The units are in inches. All parameters are optional and have default values corresponding to the default Excel values.


set_header([header='',] options]])

Set the printed page header caption and options.

  • header (string) – Header string with Excel control characters.
  • options (dict) – Header options.

Headers and footers are generated using a string which is a combination of plain text and control characters.

The available control character are:

Control Category Description
&L Justification Left
&C   Center
&R   Right
&P Information Page number
&N   Total number of pages
&D   Date
&T   Time
&F   File name
&A   Worksheet name
&Z   Workbook path
&fontsize Font Font size
&”font,style”   Font name and style
&U   Single underline
&E   Double underline
&S   Strikethrough
&X   Superscript
&Y   Subscript
&[Picture] Images Image placeholder
&G   Same as &[Picture]
&& Misc. Literal ampersand “&”

Text in headers and footers can be justified (aligned) to the left, center and right by prefixing the text with the control characters &L, &C and &R.

For example:


   |                                                               |
   | Hello                                                         |
   |                                                               |


   |                                                               |
   |                          Hello                                |
   |                                                               |


   |                                                               |
   |                                                         Hello |
   |                                                               |

For simple text, if you do not specify any justification the text will be centered. However, you must prefix the text with &C if you specify a font name or any other formatting:


   |                                                               |
   |                          Hello                                |
   |                                                               |

You can have text in each of the justification regions:


   |                                                               |
   | Ciao                     Bello                          Cielo |
   |                                                               |

The information control characters act as variables that Excel will update as the workbook or worksheet changes. Times and dates are in the users default format:

worksheet.set_header('&CPage &P of &N')

   |                                                               |
   |                        Page 1 of 6                            |
   |                                                               |

worksheet.set_header('&CUpdated at &T')

   |                                                               |
   |                    Updated at 12:30 PM                        |
   |                                                               |

Images can be inserted using the options shown below. Each image must have a placeholder in header string using the &[Picture] or &G control characters:

worksheet.set_header('&L&G', {'image_left': 'logo.jpg'})

You can specify the font size of a section of the text by prefixing it with the control character &n where n is the font size:

worksheet1.set_header('&C&30Hello Big')
worksheet2.set_header('&C&10Hello Small')

You can specify the font of a section of the text by prefixing it with the control sequence &"font,style" where fontname is a font name such as “Courier New” or “Times New Roman” and style is one of the standard Windows font descriptions: “Regular”, “Italic”, “Bold” or “Bold Italic”:

worksheet1.set_header('&C&"Courier New,Italic"Hello')
worksheet2.set_header('&C&"Courier New,Bold Italic"Hello')
worksheet3.set_header('&C&"Times New Roman,Regular"Hello')

It is possible to combine all of these features together to create sophisticated headers and footers. As an aid to setting up complicated headers and footers you can record a page set-up as a macro in Excel and look at the format strings that VBA produces. Remember however that VBA uses two double quotes "" to indicate a single double quote. For the last example above the equivalent VBA code looks like this:

.LeftHeader = ""
.CenterHeader = "&""Times New Roman,Regular""Hello"
.RightHeader = ""

Alternatively you can inspect the header and footer strings in an Excel file by unzipping it and grepping the XML sub-files. The following shows how to do that using libxml’s xmllint to format the XML for clarity:

$ unzip myfile.xlsm -d myfile
$ xmllint --format `find myfile -name "*.xml" | xargs` | egrep "Header|Footer" | sed 's/&/\&/g'

  <headerFooter scaleWithDoc="0">

To include a single literal ampersand & in a header or footer you should use a double ampersand &&:

worksheet1.set_header('&CCuriouser && Curiouser - Attorneys at Law')

The available options are:

  • margin: (float) Header margin in inches. Defaults to 0.3 inch.
  • image_left: (string) The path to the image. Needs &G placeholder.
  • image_center: (string) Same as above.
  • image_right: (string) Same as above.
  • image_data_left: (BytesIO) A byte stream of the image data.
  • image_data_center: (BytesIO) Same as above.
  • image_data_right: (BytesIO) Same as above.
  • scale_with_doc: (boolean) Scale header with document. Defaults to True.
  • align_with_margins: (boolean) Align header to margins. Defaults to True.

As with the other margins the margin value should be in inches. The default header and footer margin is 0.3 inch. It can be changed as follows:

worksheet.set_header('&CHello', {'margin': 0.75})

The header and footer margins are independent of, and should not be confused with, the top and bottom worksheet margins.

The image options must have an accompanying &[Picture] or &G control character in the header string:

                     {'image_left':   'red.jpg',
                      'image_center': 'blue.jpg',
                      'image_right':  'yellow.jpg'})

The image_data_ parameters are used to add an in-memory byte stream in io.BytesIO format:

image_file = open('logo.jpg', 'rb')
image_data = BytesIO(

                     {'image_left': 'logo.jpg',
                      'image_data_left': image_data})

When using the image_data_ parameters a filename must still be passed to to the equivalent image_ parameter since it is required by Excel. See also insert_image() for details on handling images from byte streams.

Note, Excel does not allow header or footer strings longer than 255 characters, including control characters. Strings longer than this will not be written and a warning will be issued.

See also Example: Adding Headers and Footers to Worksheets.


repeat_rows(first_row[, last_row])

Set the number of rows to repeat at the top of each printed page.

  • first_row (int) – First row of repeat range.
  • last_row (int) – Last row of repeat range. Optional.

For large Excel documents it is often desirable to have the first row or rows of the worksheet print out at the top of each page.

This can be achieved by using the repeat_rows() method. The parameters first_row and last_row are zero based. The last_row parameter is optional if you only wish to specify one row:

worksheet1.repeat_rows(0)     # Repeat the first row.
worksheet2.repeat_rows(0, 1)  # Repeat the first two rows.


repeat_columns(first_col[, last_col])

Set the columns to repeat at the left hand side of each printed page.

  • first_col (int) – First column of repeat range.
  • last_col (int) – Last column of repeat range. Optional.

For large Excel documents it is often desirable to have the first column or columns of the worksheet print out at the left hand side of each page.

This can be achieved by using the repeat_columns() method. The parameters first_column and last_column are zero based. The last_column parameter is optional if you only wish to specify one column. You can also specify the columns using A1 column notation, see Working with Cell Notation for more details.:

worksheet1.repeat_columns(0)      # Repeat the first column.
worksheet2.repeat_columns(0, 1)   # Repeat the first two columns.
worksheet3.repeat_columns('A:A')  # Repeat the first column.
worksheet4.repeat_columns('A:B')  # Repeat the first two columns.



Set the option to hide gridlines on the screen and the printed page.

Parameters:option (int) – Hide gridline options. See below.

This method is used to hide the gridlines on the screen and printed page. Gridlines are the lines that divide the cells on a worksheet. Screen and printed gridlines are turned on by default in an Excel worksheet.

If you have defined your own cell borders you may wish to hide the default gridlines:


The following values of option are valid:

  1. Don’t hide gridlines.
  2. Hide printed gridlines only.
  3. Hide screen and printed gridlines.

If you don’t supply an argument the default option is 1, i.e. only the printed gridlines are hidden.


Set the option to print the row and column headers on the printed page.

When you print a worksheet from Excel you get the data selected in the print area. By default the Excel row and column headers (the row numbers on the left and the column letters at the top) aren’t printed.

The print_row_col_headers() method sets the printer option to print these headers:




Set the option to hide the row and column headers in a worksheet.

This method is similar to the print_row_col_headers() except that it hides the row and column headers on the worksheet:



Set the print area in the current worksheet.

  • first_row (integer) – The first row of the range. (All zero indexed.)
  • first_col (integer) – The first column of the range.
  • last_row (integer) – The last row of the range.
  • last_col (integer) – The last col of the range.

0: Success.


-1: Row or column is out of worksheet bounds.

This method is used to specify the area of the worksheet that will be printed.

All four parameters must be specified. You can also use A1 notation, see Working with Cell Notation:

worksheet1.print_area('A1:H20')     # Cells A1 to H20.
worksheet2.print_area(0, 0, 19, 7)  # The same as above.

In order to set a row or column range you must specify the entire range:

worksheet3.print_area('A1:H1048576')  # Same as A:H.


Set the order in which pages are printed.

The print_across method is used to change the default print direction. This is referred to by Excel as the sheet “page order”:


The default page order is shown below for a worksheet that extends over 4 pages. The order is called “down then across”:

[1] [3]
[2] [4]

However, by using the print_across method the print order will be changed to “across then down”:

[1] [2]
[3] [4]


fit_to_pages(width, height)

Fit the printed area to a specific number of pages both vertically and horizontally.

  • width (int) – Number of pages horizontally.
  • height (int) – Number of pages vertically.

The fit_to_pages() method is used to fit the printed area to a specific number of pages both vertically and horizontally. If the printed area exceeds the specified number of pages it will be scaled down to fit. This ensures that the printed area will always appear on the specified number of pages even if the page size or margins change:

worksheet1.fit_to_pages(1, 1)  # Fit to 1x1 pages.
worksheet2.fit_to_pages(2, 1)  # Fit to 2x1 pages.
worksheet3.fit_to_pages(1, 2)  # Fit to 1x2 pages.

The print area can be defined using the print_area() method as described above.

A common requirement is to fit the printed output to n pages wide but have the height be as long as necessary. To achieve this set the height to zero:

worksheet1.fit_to_pages(1, 0)  # 1 page wide and as long as necessary.


Although it is valid to use both fit_to_pages() and set_print_scale() on the same worksheet in Excel only allows one of these options to be active at a time. The last method call made will set the active option.


The fit_to_pages() will override any manual page breaks that are defined in the worksheet.


When using fit_to_pages() it may also be required to set the printer paper size using set_paper() or else Excel will default to “US Letter”.



Set the start page number when printing.

Parameters:start_page (int) – Starting page number.

The set_start_page() method is used to set the number of the starting page when the worksheet is printed out:

# Start print from page 2.



Set the scale factor for the printed page.

Parameters:scale (int) – Print scale of worksheet to be printed.

Set the scale factor of the printed page. Scale factors in the range 10 <= $scale <= 400 are valid:


The default scale factor is 100. Note, set_print_scale() does not affect the scale of the visible page in Excel. For that you should use set_zoom().

Note also that although it is valid to use both fit_to_pages() and set_print_scale() on the same worksheet Excel only allows one of these options to be active at a time. The last method call made will set the active option.



Set the horizontal page breaks on a worksheet.

Parameters:breaks (list) – List of page break rows.

The set_h_pagebreaks() method adds horizontal page breaks to a worksheet. A page break causes all the data that follows it to be printed on the next page. Horizontal page breaks act between rows.

The set_h_pagebreaks() method takes a list of one or more page breaks:

worksheet2.set_v_pagebreaks([20, 40, 60, 80, 100])

To create a page break between rows 20 and 21 you must specify the break at row 21. However in zero index notation this is actually row 20. So you can pretend for a small while that you are using 1 index notation:

worksheet.set_h_pagebreaks([20])  # Break between row 20 and 21.


Note: If you specify the “fit to page” option via the fit_to_pages() method it will override all manual page breaks.

There is a silent limitation of 1023 horizontal page breaks per worksheet in line with an Excel internal limitation.



Set the vertical page breaks on a worksheet.

Parameters:breaks (list) – List of page break columns.

The set_v_pagebreaks() method is the same as the above set_h_pagebreaks() method except it adds page breaks between columns.