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I am under the impression that 96 pixels = 1", and that is absolute. When I create a cell in Excel that is 96 x 96 pixels, it prints as something smaller than that. I have tried it on 2 different Canon printers (different models). The printers are set to do no scaling. This makes the sheet not transportable as the sheet prints with different widths on other printers.

If someone could help clarify and offer a solution, I'd appreciate it.

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Under no circumstance is a measurement in pixels guaranteed to match any given inch/cm/etc. measurement.

Pixels per whatever vary by the monitor you are looking at. And more to the point, on the printer you are printing to.

A quick way to realize that is that your printer is almost surely not printing at the resolution of 96 dpi (dots per inch). Maybe it is, but probably not. If it were, say, 300 dpi, that'd be 300 pixels per inch, in terms of the printer's capabilities. That would translate back to whatever on your monitors.

In any case, there is a much better way to do what you want, and a final consideration after that.

Switch to Page Layout View and your measurements, up/down AND left/right will all be in the units of measure your system sets. Inches for me, someone else might use centimeters. Then set the two sizes directly in the unit of measure you need, inches in this case.

That's as close as Excel will be able to come to delivering a true 1" x 1" box on the screen and in a printout.

However, in the real world, even if Excel perfectly renders it (and one suspects it might not), the translation to the printer's dot by dot layout may STILL give you something other than a "perfect" 1" x 1".

So in truth, once you get that far, print a sample and measure. Then, still in Page Layout View, adjust the measurements as needed to print a perfect box. If it were very important to be just right, I'd shift to centimeters so the fineness of your control would be greater. (You can specify to the hundredth and 0.01 cm is a smaller gradation than 0.01 in.)

But no, the chances of a pixel measurement truly matching something like this is pretty low.

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  • In general Word is much more fine tuned to produce accurately sized print outs. Excel wasn't made with printing in mind, which most often involves some sort of scaling. Jeorje's answer should get you somewhere, but keep a look out for DPI settings, both in excel's page setup and in your printer's advanced properties (when you click print from within excel). Fix the scaling to 100% and set an active print area in Excel. Failing that, try copying and pasting your data into a Word table and resize in there. – Mobus May 5 at 23:38
  • thanks, for your replies. Am I correct in concluding that there is no way to make a sheet that is intended to be printed (this is a golf scorecard) that will travel to other computers and printers without requiring changes to account for these various devices? – ddk May 6 at 9:58
  • I have not looked under the hood of Excel to see how measurements are stored, but in Word and PowerPoint, all measurements such as the size of a box are saved in the XML as integer numbers of "twips" - TWentieths of Points, or 1/1440 inch ~0.001764 cm . This is regardless of how measurements are displayed (in inches or cm), and both will result in some rounding errors when converted, albeit the resolution of 1/100 of an inch is clearly less than 1/100 cm. If you truly want precision control, crack open the XML and edit the twips directly to get a 6-fold improvement over .01 cm and no rounding. – AdamV May 6 at 10:38

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