Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults.

Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 1, 2016)

Marie asked for a way to change the defaults in the Print dialog box so that she could, by default, simply print the current page. Unfortunately, there is no way to change the defaults; Word always resets them to its internal settings whenever the Print dialog box is first displayed. However, there are a couple of ways you can work around this problem.

The first method is to simply record a macro that prints the current page. Once recorded you can assign the macro to the Quick Access Toolbar or give it a shortcut key. (How you do these things has been covered in other issues of WordTips.) Now you don't even need to pull up the regular Print dialog box to print the current page—you have your own macro that does the work for you with a single click. The following is an example of such a macro:

Sub PrintCurrentPage()
    Application.PrintOut FileName:="", Range:=wdPrintCurrentPage, _
      Item:= wdPrintDocumentContent, Copies:=1, Pages:="", _
      PageType:=wdPrintAllPages, Collate:=False, _
      Background:=True, PrintToFile:=False
End Sub

If you would like something that really does change the settings in the Print dialog box, you can only do so using a macro. Understand, however, that this approach doesn't change the defaults; it changes the settings. Thus, when you call the macro, the Print dialog box is invoked and the settings changed from the defaults by the macro. This may sound a bit confusing, but it simply means that any number of setting changes are made for you before you have the chance to view the Print dialog box.

Public Sub PrintCurrentPageDialog()
    With Dialogs(wdDialogFilePrint)
        .Range = wdPrintCurrentPage
        .Show
    End With
End Sub

In this case, the macro sets the Range value in the Print dialog box to the current page before showing it. Once the dialog box is shown, the macro is over and you can manually make other dialog box setting changes, as desired.

You should also understand that the Print dialog box was essentially "deprecated" starting with Word 2010. Instead of the traditional Print dialog box, the program started using a screen of print settings in what is now termed the "back office." Even though this is the case, the above macros will still work because the Print dialog box is still available behind the scenes.

It is interesting to note that if you name the foregoing macro FilePrint (instead of PrintCurrentPageDialog), then the macro essentially replaces the built-in Word command that comes into play when you select Print from the File menu. Thus, you have changed (ever so slightly) what the built-in Word command does.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8439) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults.

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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