Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Printing a Document's Mirror Image.

Printing a Document's Mirror Image

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 31, 2014)

7

Word does a great job of printing documents. However, for some purposes you might find it useful to print a mirror image of a document—where everything is reversed on the printout, and you can only see it correctly if you look at the document in a mirror. For example, you might need such a mirror image if you are doing silk screening onto tee shirts or coffee mugs with the output you create.

Unfortunately, Word has no intrinsic setting that allows you to create mirrored output. There are ways you can achieve the same results, however. The first thing you should do is to check out the capabilities of your printer driver. Most PostScript printers (and many non-PostScript HP printers) include the capability to mirror the output. The feature is not limited to laser printers, either. Many ink-jet printers include the capability to do mirrored output.

All you need to do is click on the Properties button in the Print dialog box and then do a little exploring in the various tabs and controls. On my printer, the option is contained in a portion of the dialog box entitled PostScript Options. Yours, obviously, may be in a different place. The feature may have a name such as "mirror output" or "flip horizontal."

If you search high and low and cannot find such an option, there is a tricky low-tech solution you can use. All you need to do is print from Word, like normal, on a piece of overhead transparency film. Then, turn the printed film upside down and copy it on a copier. The result—mirrored output, just like you need.

Finally, if you don't want to mess with the transparencies (it can get a bit expensive if you have many pages to do), you can follow these general steps, instead:

  1. Prepare your document as normal.
  2. Press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  3. Press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
  4. Switch to a graphics program, such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop.
  5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the document's image into the program.
  6. Using the features of the graphics program, flip the image as desired.
  7. Select the entire image and copy it back to the Clipboard.
  8. Switch back to Word and paste the graphics object into the document.
  9. Print as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8478) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing a Document's Mirror Image.

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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Comments

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What is five more than 8?

2015-05-03 18:39:22

Skip in Dallas

I too spent an hour of my life searching how WORD or my HP printer would print in mirror image. Luckily, Google came up with this response. Control A and paste into Paint. Rotate: flip horizontal. I copied this reverse image back to WORD and was able to create a printed T Shirt with ease.


2015-03-21 14:41:45

Laura

Nailed it! Thanks OldShaw!


2014-08-30 14:39:23

Darlene

Wow, I wish I had scrolled down to OldShaw's answer before taking all the time I did on answer number one. My HP 8500A printer does not have a mirror image option despite how hard I tried to find it. So I decided to use Allen's tip to use a photo editor. I downloaded a free trial of Adobe Photo shop and copied my text there and was able to find the Flip Vertical to get my mirror image but it took over an hour because of waiting for the download. I was just trying to get a simple item reversed for purposes of a tee-shirt transfer so definitely the faster and more expedient way was Old Shaw's advice for my particular situation. But I appreciate both of you taking the time to give such solid advice to those of us who were struggling!


2014-08-25 03:23:37

Syl

I tried it and it worked!!! Thank you so much OldShaw.


2014-07-03 15:13:27

Karen O\'Toole

Thanks for the info. I created an image in word that I wanted to put on a t-shirt for my daughter. I was able to do it with your steps 1-9. Thanks.


2014-06-02 10:24:17

awyatt

OldShaw: Thanks for the contribution. Your approach does work well for short amounts of text.

That being said, my approach was for documents -- entire documents, as the title suggests. As good as WordArt (and text boxes) are, they aren't great for mirroring entire documents.

Thanks, again.

-Allen


2014-06-01 14:06:10

OldShaw

This article is poorly researched, offers not very practical solutions and is just NOT true. (Sorry Allen, you dropped the ball on this one!)
WordArt can do mirrored text very easily - as can Text Boxes and Text in a Shape!

Proceed as follows to get mirrored text directly from Word. I used Word 2013 but, strongly suspect that it is available in earlier versions:

1. Create your text - if you wish it can be 'regular' text in a document.
2. Highlight the text - select INSERT/ WordArt - and choose the first icon (actually doesn't matter what you choose)
3. Resize the text to what you actually want and select a font etc.
4. With the WordArt text selected, click on "Drawing Tools"/ FORMAT - (then, from WordArt Styles) - Text Effects/ 3-D Rotation - 3-D Rotation Options…
5. From the Format Text Effects dialogue panel - select 3-D Rotation (now for the clever bit) - set 'Y' Rotation to 180 degrees and 'Z' Rotation to 180 degrees
6. Click the 'X' to close the dialogue panel
7. Mirrored text achieved directly from MS Word!

Mirrored text can also be achieved directly from a Text Box or from Text within a Shape.
Just create what you want then - use the same technique as above to rotate Y and Z


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