Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Preventing Printing.

Preventing Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2015)

An industrious WordTips subscriber asked if it is possible to prevent a user from actually printing a document in Word. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way short of making sure the user doesn't have a printer attached to their system.

Why? The easy answer is because Word is meant to print things. You can, of course, customize Word so that the print-related commands are removed from the program. You can also replace Word's built-in print commands with commands that do nothing. However, that doesn't stop people from actually doing a screen print of what is on the computer screen, thereby ending up with the information on a printout. In addition, people could bypass executing the macros by simply disabling them when the document is loaded. Another way around such customizations is for the user to simply copy text from the print-inhibited document and paste it into a new document that has no such customizations. The document could then easily be printed.

You can also try non-Word solutions, such as using Adobe Acrobat to create a protected PDF file that cannot be printed. However, even then the user could still do a screen print of what they see.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10272) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Preventing Printing.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Spellchecking Words with Superscripts

Adding a superscript to a word is necessary for many types of writing. Doing so, however, can confuse the spell checker in ...

Discover More

Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document

When merging documents, you may want to include some fields in the merged documents. For some fields this is impossible, as ...

Discover More

Headings On Your Printout

If you've got a table that spans multiple printed pages, you probably want to repeat a row or two of that table as a heading ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Collating Copies

If you are printing more than one copy of a multi-page document, it would be great if Word could print them in complete sets ...

Discover More

Printing Document Properties

Word maintains quite a bit of information about a document in a special collection of items called "properties." You can ...

Discover More

Getting a Double-Spaced Printout

When working with printed documents, many people prefer to see the document double-spaced. If you have a single-spaced ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.