Often, the entire point of using a word processing program is to create a printed product. Word includes many tools to help make printing whatever you need as easy as possible. Learn how to make Word work for various printing projects and how to resolve issues you may encounter along the way with the following articles.
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Printing' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding a Horizontal Watermark with a PostScript Printer
In Windows, printer drivers translate formatting into a printer control language, like PostScript, that the printer understands. If you know the printer control language and how to present the commands you can issue commands directly to the printer. This tip is an example of creating a watermark using PostScript commands.
Always Printing Drawing Objects
Add a bunch of drawing objects to your document, and you may wonder how to make sure they all appear on a printout. How you handle it depends on the version of Word you are using.
Booklet Printing in Word
Need to create a booklet with Word? Depending on your version, it could be as easy as changing how you print your final output.
Need to stop the printing of a long document? Here's how to stop Word, along with why stopping Word may not be the only thing you need to do.
Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults
Some of the built-in defaults in Word can't be changed. Often times, however, you can work around these defaults by using macros. Here's how you can customize the print dialog box defaults.
Chopped Off Page Borders
Tired of your page borders not printing out as you expect? The problem could be due to any number of settings or conditions. Here are the things you can check out.
If you are printing more than one copy of a multi-page document, it would be great if Word could print them in complete sets saving you the hassle of collating later. Fortunately, there is a quick way to save yourself a lot of time (and paper cuts).
Controlling the Printing of Highlighting
Using Word's built-in highlighter tool can be a great way to add markup to a document and attract a reader's eyes to specific phrases. If you don't want the highlighted phrases in your document to be printed that way, you can turn off the highlighting without removing it.
Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed
When you add full-page borders to your document, you may be bothered to find out that one or more sides of the border don't actually appear on the printout. If this happens to you, then you can apply the techniques in this tip to make sure that the border prints as desired.
Creating Tent Cards
If you are planning a dinner party or a meeting where guests need to be seated at tables, you may want to create tent cards that indicate who should sit where. Using the tools provided by Microsoft Word, you can create tent cards to fit your needs, but the process may not be easy.
Defining Default Printers on a Document Level
If you use multiple printers, you may wonder how to set each document in Word to remember which printer to use for that document. You'll need to manipulate a few things to make this happen. Here's how.
Doubling Your Money
Make your money last longer by using your head when printing labels. Here's a great example of how you can double the usage you get from your labels.
Duplex by Default
Many printers these days have the capability to print on both sides of a piece of paper. You may want Word to use this capability, by default. It cannot, however. Here's why and here's what you can do about it.
Duplex Printing from Multiple Trays
Printing in duplex has not always been easy in Word, particularly when you want that printing to be controlled by a macro. Throw multiple paper trays into the mix and things can get dicey. Here's an idea of how you can solve the printing problem, however.
Easily Changing Print Order
You can change the order in which pages are printed (normal or reversed) using the Print dialog box or the print settings in Word. What if you want a way to specify the order without using the normal method? The macros in this tip will make quick work of changing the print order.
Forcing a Final Blank Page
When printing or combining documents, you may need to worry about how many pages are in the documents. This tip provides information on making sure your documents start on the proper left or right pages.
Generating a Font Sample Sheet
You can have quite a few fonts installed on your system, each of them managed by Windows. If you would like a document that shows samples of each of those fonts, there are a number of different tools you can use.
Generating a PDF that Uses CMYK Colors
Getting a Word document into a PDF format that a commercial printer can use can be challenging. This tip examines just one challenge that can be faced--getting your images to use the CMYK color model.
Getting a Double-Spaced Printout
When working with printed documents, many people prefer to see the document double-spaced. If you have a single-spaced document, but you need to print a quick copy double-spaced, this is the absolute fastest way I've come across to accomplish the task.
Getting a Warning for Markup
Many people, when collaborating on a document with others, use the Track Changes feature to show the effects of their editing. When printing your document, you may not want Word to include these changes in the printout. You can instruct the program to warn you if you try to print and there are any tracked changes or comments in the document.
Getting Rid of Fragment Warnings
Word provides a wide variety of tools that ostensibly help make you a better writer. One of those tools is the grammar checker. You might not like all the suggestions provided by this tool, however. Here's how to tailor what warning messages you see when your grammar is checked.
Do you need a printout where graphics can be turned on and off? This tip provides some concrete ways you can get just want you need in such a printout.
Including a Printer's Name in a Footer
If you can produce output on a number of different printers, you may want Word to indicate on your printouts which printer was actually used. Here's a way you can include the printer name in the footer of your documents, as you print them.
Inserting the Date Your Document Was Last Printed
Word keeps track of each time you print your document, and you can automatically insert the last printing date anywhere you want. This tip explains which field you specifically use to insert this information.
Limiting Document Page Count
Do you need to have your document fit within a certain number of pages? This can be close to impossible to do within Word; you actually may need to consider other software to get the job done.
Making Banners in Word
Word can be used for printing a variety of document types. You may want to use the program to print a festive banner for a special occasion. There are some things you can do to print banners, as described in this tip.
Multiple Pages Per Sheet
You can save on paper with your printouts by instructing Word to print multiple pages on a single sheet. In fact, you can put up to 16 pages on a single piece of paper, as described in this tip.
Opening and Printing a Document
Want a quick, fast way to print a Word document? Here's a way that can't be beat!
Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer
Sometimes you may want to send Word documents to a commercial printer for professional mass production. Doing this requires serious planning before you spend the time to create the document.
When dealing with determined users, it is virtually impossible to prevent information in your document from being printed. This tip explains why this is the case.
Printing a Bookmark List with Contents
Bookmarks can be a great tool in Word, allowing you to easily remember the location of desired blocks of text. If you want to print out all of the text you have bookmarked within your document, you'll love the short macro presented in this tip.
Printing a Document's Mirror Image
If you need to print the mirror image (backwards) of a document, you may think you are out of luck in Word. There are workarounds, however, as explored in this tip.
Printing a Draft of a Document
Need to print a copy of a document but you don't care if it looks as "pretty" as you want the final printout to look? You need to print a draft copy, as described in this tip.
Printing a Font List
Getting a list of fonts available in a document is not something you can easily do in Word. That is, unless you put the macros in this tip to work.
Printing a Full Style Sheet
Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet printed. This tip examines ways you can create your own style sheets for printing.
Printing a Key Assignment List
When you create custom shortcut keys in Word, you may (at some point) want to get a printout of what those key assignments are. Here's how you can get that list.
Printing a Short Selection
Want to print just a selection from within your document? It's easy to do when you print using the Print dialog box.
Printing All Open Documents
Have a bunch of documents you need to print? If all the documents are open, you can use a handy little macro to print them all at once.
Printing an Outline
Outlining is a great way to develop the content of your document. If you need to, you can even print the outline and only the outline—without all the content.
Printing and Exiting Word in a Macro
When you print a document, Word remains busy in the background until the printing is done. If you try to end the program before printing is done, you can cause problems for your printout. This tip explains how to bypass the potential problem by making just a small change to how the document is printed.
Printing AutoText Entries
If you want to print a list of the AutoText entries on your system, you can do so quickly by making one change on the Print dialog box. Just use the Print What drop-down list to indicate what you actually want to print.
Printing Color Separations with VBA
When printing in color (at a commercial printer) it is necessary to print different colors of your document in different passes. For this purpose, commercial printers often deal with color separations, or separating a document into its component colors. Word can't perform such a complex task, but there is a way you can simulate color separations in simple documents.
Comments are a great way to share, well, comments with other people looking through your documents. If you want to print just a list of your document comments, you may be out of luck, unless you use the ideas presented in this tip.
Printing Copy Numbers
Copy 1, Copy 2, Copy 3... Do you want to mark your printouts so that they are numbered? Here's how you can do it.
Printing Custom Properties
Do you use custom document properties? They can be very helpful, but sometimes hard to get at. This tip shows a way you can print out the names and values of your custom properties, using a handy macro.
Printing Document Properties
Word maintains quite a bit of information about a document in a special collection of items called "properties." You can print these properties whenever you print your document, if you so desire. Here's how to do it.
Printing Documents in a Folder
If you want to print a group of documents at the same time, there are a couple of ways you can accomplish the task. Here are two easy ones you can use.
Printing Documents without Markup
If you have a document with Track Changes turned on, you can accumulate quite a bit of "markup" in it. Here's how you can print the document without that markup showing up.
Printing Field Codes
Field codes allow dynamic information to be included in documents and can be a great boon. At some point you may want to print a copy of your document with field codes displayed. Here's how to do it.
Printing Hidden Text
One of the formatting attributes you can add to text is to make it "hidden," which means you can control whether it is displayed or printed. This tip explains how you can control the printing of hidden text, independent of whether it is displayed or not.
Printing Images Based on Hidden Text Setting
When you print your document, the images in the document are normally printed. What if you want only some of your images to print based on whether you are printing Hidden text or not? This tip provides two approaches to this specialized printing need.
Printing Just the Changes and Comments
Word allows you to use its Track Changes feature to add markup to your document. This is great when you have a group of editors working on a document. If you want to print just those pages that include comments and/or changes, you'll appreciate the information in this tip.
Printing More than One Copy
If you need to print more than one copy of your document, you need to become familiar with the printing options made available in Word. This tip explains how you can instruct Word to print as many copies of a document as you need.
Printing Non-Printing Characters
Serious users of Word often display non-printing characters on-screen so they can see them easier. If you want those characters actually printed, you may be out of luck. Here's the reason why, along with some ideas you can use.
Printing Odd or Even Pages
You can instruct Word, when printing your document, to print only the odd- or even-numbered pages. This tip explains how you do this.
Printing Only Some Pages
I often need to print only select pages of a document, rather than the whole thing. Word makes it easy to be judicious in what you print. Here's how you can specify just those pages that need to be sent to the printer.
Printing Outside the Boundaries All the Time
If Word thinks you are going to print in an area of the page that isn't printable, it will let you know. If you don't want to see these messages, you'll need to use a macro to suppress them.
Printing Personalized Copies of a Document
Need to have a series of documents customized for individual users? Mail merge may be overkill, but the macro presented in this tip will help make short work of the individualized printouts.
Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents
When you use a data source to create a bunch of documents in a mail merge, you might not want to print all the documents created by Word. Here are a number of ways you can print just what you want to print from the merge.
Printing Reversed Images
Ever need to print the mirror image of your document? This tip explains how to reverse your image so it can be used for phototransfers, silk screening, and other purposes.
Printing Show/Hide Characters
Non-printing characters are very handy to view when editing a document. But what if you want those characters to no longer be "non-printing?" Here are some ideas on how you can simulate those characters on your printouts.
Printing Style Sheets
Want to see what styles are defined in your document? Let Word print out a simplistic style sheet for you.
Printing Summary Information
Word automatically maintains a number of properties for each document you create. As part of those properties you can include summary information about the document. If you want to print that information, here's how to do it.
Printing Summary Information from a Macro
Part of the information that Word maintains about each of your documents is a summary statement, which you can define in the properties for the document. If you want to print that summary from within a macro, you can use the .PrintOut method, described in this tip.
Printing the Active Document from a Macro
When you process a document in a macro, you may also want to print that document from within the same macro. Here's how to do it using a single command.
Printing the Navigation Pane
The Navigation pane can be a handy tool for seeing the overall organization of your document and easily moving to whatever section of the document you desire. What if you want to print the contents of the Navigation pane, however? Here are some ideas on how to get what you want.
Printing Very Large Paper Sizes
Need to print on large pieces of paper? Word has a limit on the size of the paper it can use, but that might not be the only limiting factor. You also need to worry about your printer and printer driver.
Printing via Macro without Messages
When you are printing a document, it is not unusual to see messages (dialog boxes) periodically. When you want the printing to be done by a macro, the messages can cause unwanted interruptions. Here's a way to make the messages stop.
Printing without Footnotes
Want to print your document without all those footnotes included? It's not quite as easy as you might think, as this tip discloses.
Printing without Headings
One way to use heading styles is to create a story outline. When it comes time to print the story, though, you may not want those headings to print. This tip describes a couple of ways to do this.
Printing without Track Changes Marks
If your document has a lot of markup visible in it, you may want to print a copy of the document that doesn't reflect those changes. Here's how to get the clean output you need.
Remembering Copies to Print
If you routinely need to print more than one copy of a document, you'll love the ideas presented in this tip. There's even a way that you can make individual documents "remember" how many copies should be printed.
Reversing Print Order
When you print a document, does it come out of the printer in the order you need? Here's how to reverse the print order to correct the situation.
Saving Print Specifications with a Document
When you create a document, you may envision that document being printed in a specific way. What if you want to save those print specifications with the actual document? Unfortunately, Word doesn't allow you to do this. This tip explains why and discusses a possible workaround.
Scaling Your Output
One of the lesser-known features of Word is that it allows you to create a document for one page size and scale the output to fit on a different page size. It's easy to do, using the printing options provided by Word.
Selecting a Paper Source
If your printer allows you to specify different paper trays as sources for paper, you need to know how to select those other trays in Word. It's easy to do; just follow these steps.
Selecting Printing of Color Pictures
Do you want to control whether color pictures in your document are printed or not? It's not quite as easy as it may sound. This tip describes several approaches you can use to accomplish this task.
Sending Printer Commands
If you need to send a command directly to your printer, then you need to use the PRINT field. It allows you to send output to the printer without Word trying to process it as text.
Setting Up Your Printer
Word allows you to take full advantage of the capabilities of your printer. Accessing those capabilities is done through the Print dialog box or the print settings on the File tab of the ribbon, as described in this tip.
Shortcut to Save as a PDF
Saving your documents in PDF format can be very helpful when you want to share a "finished" version with others. This tip shows you how you can easily create very quick ways to generate the PDF file you want.
Specifying a Paper Tray in a Macro
You may want to use a macro to process and then print your document. Part of that printing may involve specifying which of your printer's paper trays Word uses. Here are some considerations you need to take in account if you want to select a paper tray in your macro.
Specifying Paper Trays for Specific Pages in a Single Print Job
If your printer has multiple paper trays, you may want to send some pages to one tray and other pages to a different tray. Word has very limited capabilities in this regard, but you may be able to get satisfactory results using a macro to do your printing.
Stopping Fields from Updating when Printing
Fields provide a great way to add dynamic content to your documents. If you don't want those fields to update when you print a document, then there are a few settings you can check and a handy trick you can use to do the printing, if necessary.
Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing
Do you like using ASK Fields in your documents to get information from the user but don't want Word to update the fields more than once? There are a couple of solutions to this problem. Here's how to use them.
Temporarily Changing the Printer in a Macro
You can use a macro to print to any printer you have defined in Windows. It is good practice, if you are changing which printer you are printing to, to use the programming technique described in this tip to remember which printer was previously selected on the system.
Do you want to transfer fonts from one computer system to another? It is relatively easy to do, but there is one important item to which you need to pay attention.
Triple-Spacing Your Document
Print your document with lots of space between each line by triple spacing it! Here are some quick and easy steps for getting the spacing you want without affecting your document in a lasting manner.
Turning Off Comment Color when Printing
Comments that you add to your document are most often displayed in a bright color so they aren't easily missed. If you want to turn off those colors when printing the comments, you'll want to note the information in this tip.
Two Page Numbers per Physical Page
Want to save paper when printing your document? Just print two pages per sheet of paper and you'll get rid of only half as many trees as you normally would.
Two Printed Copies to Different Paper Trays
Many modern printers include multiple paper trays that can be used for different types or colors of paper. Word allows you to specify which paper tray should be used when printing, but what if you want to print two copies of a document and have each one come from a different tray? That's where a macro can come in handy, as discussed in this tip.
Understanding Background Printing
We click the button to print our document and seldom think of what is happening behind the scenes. Word prints documents, by default, in the background as we continue to work. You can change this behavior, if you desire; here's how.
Putting words on the printed page is easy in Word. Rotating those words in different manners can be a bit trickier. This tip examines different ways in which you can print some of your text upside-down relative to the other text on the page.
Useable Printed Pages with Markup
When you create documents that rely on markup (tracked changes and comments), getting usable printed output that includes the markup can be challenging. This tip looks at some ideas that can help you get what you need.
Using Duplex Printing
Want to print on both sides of a piece of paper? Some printers have the capability to do two-sided printing automatically. Here's how you can take advantage of that feature from within Word.
Using Only Odd Page Numbers
Do you need to number the pages of your document using only odd page numbers? Word doesn't provide a way to do this, but you can create your own special page numbers that reflect what you want.
Using Sequential Document Serial Numbers
Need to add a unique serial number to each printed copy of your document? Here's a quick way to print such numbered versions.
Working with Multiple Printers
Word does not keep printer information associated with documents. You can define a macro for each printer you use and put buttons for the macros on the Quick Access Toolbar for easy access to all of the printers.