Duplex Printing from Multiple Trays

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 5, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Lesley has a printer that has multiple paper trays. She has the letterhead in tray 2 and the continuation bond in tray 3. She wrote a macro that prints the first page from tray 2 and the rest of the pages from tray 3. She has a need, though, to create a macro that will print duplex from tray 2 (which covers the first two pages of the letter) and the rest of the pages duplex from tray 3.

This can be done with a macro, but the approach is probably not what you'd expect. In general, what you need to do is this:

  1. Create a new printer definition in Windows that prints from tray 2 in duplex.
  2. Create another new printer definition in Windows that prints from tray 3 in duplex.
  3. Create a macro that prints pages 1 and 2 of a document to the printer you created in step 1, then prints starting at page 3 to the printer you created in step 2.

The key here is to create the printers definitions in steps 1 and 2. If you don't do this, you can't force the printers (within a macro) to print in duplex. The reason is that duplex is handled at a printer level, and Windows doesn't make those settings available to Word. However, since the printer definition is set to print duplex, anything you send through that "printer" (in Word) is automatically in duplex.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5681) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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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