Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Selecting a Paper Source.

Selecting a Paper Source

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 24, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word supports any printer supported by Windows. This is because Word uses the features offered by Windows to print documents. Many of the features associated with formatting your document and printing are related to the type of printer you have installed and selected. For instance, some laser printers have different bins for different paper. Windows (and thus Word) can instruct the printer to select paper from any of the available paper bins.

If your printer supports multiple paper sources and you want to change the paper source used for your document (for instance, you have a bin that contains letterhead and you want to print on it), you should follow these steps if you are using Word 2007:

  1. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the Print dialog box.
  2. Make sure the printer listed at the top of the dialog box matches the printer you want to use for your printing.
  3. Click Cancel to close the Print dialog box. (If you choose OK, your document will print—don't do that yet.)
  4. Display the Page Layout (or Layout in newer versions of Word) tab of the ribbon.
  5. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Page Setup group. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Paper tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Paper tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  8. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify which paper tray you want used for the first page of your document, as well as all subsequent pages.
  9. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  10. Print your document like normal.

If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, the steps to check which printer is selected are slightly different. Instead of steps 1 through 3, press Ctrl+P to display the Print options on the File tab. Use the Printer drop-down list to specify which printer you want to use. You can then press Esc (to get back to your document) and follow steps 4 through 9 as indicated.

If, in step 7, you don't see different options for paper sources, then your printer (or printer driver) does not support multiple sources. Once you have specified different sources for your paper, the information is saved with the document. This means that every time you print the document, it will select paper as you directed. This also applies to using the print-merging feature of Word. For instance, the first page of each document merged and printed can be selected from a different bin than each subsequent page.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8798) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Selecting a Paper Source.

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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