Shortcut Key to Make Print Preview Active

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 8, 2017)

Alicia uses shortcut keys quite a bit in Word. She also relies on Print Preview very often. Alicia knows she can press Ctrl+F2 to display the Print settings, which has Print Preview to the right of those settings. However, to make Print Preview active (so Page Up and Page Down will work), she then needs to use the mouse to click on it or she needs to press the Tab key 13 times. Alicia wonders if there is a shortcut key that will display the document in Print Preview and make the Print Preview active.

There are a good number of ways you can approach this problem. One is to simply use a few different shortcut keys. When you press Ctrl+F2 to display the Print settings, you could then press Alt+P to display some on-screen helps and then Alt+V, which activates the Print Preview area. (That's a lot easier than pressing Tab so many times!)

Another approach is to add the proper Print Preview command to your Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Select the Customize option (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar option (Word 2010 and later versions) at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose File Tab. This displays all of the commands that are on the File tab of the ribbon.
  4. Scroll through the list of available commands and choose Print Preview Edit Mode.
  5. Click the Add button. The command is moved to the list at the right of the dialog box.
  6. Click OK. The new command now appears on the Quick Access Toolbar.

When adding the Print Preview Edit Mode tool to your Quick Access Toolbar, make sure it is one of the first nine tools there. If it is, you can easily access it without removing your fingers from the keyboard. For instance, if the tool is the third one on the Quick Access Toolbar, you can press Alt (which displays small shortcut icons next to various parts of the Word interface) and then press 3 to invoke the Print Preview Edit Mode.

You should note that this command (Print Preview Edit Mode) is a bit different than the Print Preview invoked when you press Ctrl+F2. It doesn't display the Print settings, but is simply a different "view" for your document—the Print Preview view. You can move around and make edits in the document while in this view, and you exit it by simply pressing the Esc key.

If you like using the Print Preview Edit Mode tool, you can bypass the Quick Access Toolbar completely by simply assigning a shortcut key to the command. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Select the Customize option (Word 2007) or Customize Ribbon option (Word 2010 and later versions) at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Customize button near the bottom-left of the dialog box. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  5. In the Categories list, make sure that File Tab is selected.
  6. Scroll through the list of available commands (in the Commands list) and choose PrintPreviewEditMode.
  7. Click once in the Press New Shortcut Key box to place the insertion point there.
  8. Press the shortcut key you want used to invoke the Print Preview Edit Mode tool. (Under the Current Keys text box you should see a notice showing how your selected shortcut key is currently used. Make changes to the shortcut key, as desired, to avoid conflicts.) (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. Check to make sure the selected shortcut key is unassigned.

  10. Click the Assign button.
  11. Click the Close button.

If you prefer, you can create a macro that invokes the equivalent of the Print Preview Edit Mode tool. You could then assign the macro to a shortcut key, as desired. Here's the short and sweet macro:

Sub MyPrintPreview()
    If Application.PrintPreview = False Then
        ActiveDocument.PrintPreview
    End If
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (2773) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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