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: Two Printed Copies to Different Paper Trays.

Two Printed Copies to Different Paper Trays

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 9, 2017)

Joyce has a printer that has two paper trays in it. The first (default) paper tray contains regular white paper. The second paper tray contains a different color of paper. In Joyce's office, whenever they print documents they need to print one copy on white paper and the other copy on the colored paper. She wonders if there is a way to do a single print of the document, but have Word send one copy to the first paper tray and the other copy to the second.

The best way to do this is to use a macro, but there are a couple of different approaches you can use when creating the macro. I'm a firm believer in trying the easy way first, so you might try the following short macro:

Sub PrintTwoTrays()
    Dim sTray As String

    sTray = Options.DefaultTray
    Options.DefaultTray = "Tray 1"
    Application.PrintOut FileName:=""
    Options.DefaultTray = "Tray 2"
    Application.PrintOut FileName:=""
    Options.DefaultTray = sTray
End Sub

This macro uses the DefaultTray property to specify a tray to use for your printer. This approach sets the setting you can see in the advanced settings of the Word Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The advanced settings of the Word Options dialog box.

Note the Default Tray drop-down list on the dialog box. This lists the various tray options available for your printer. For most printers, there will be a Tray 1 and Tray 2 option, provided the printer has at least two paper trays. The PrintTwoTrays macro sets the option explicitly to Tray 1, prints a copy, then Tray 2, prints a copy, and then sets the setting back to its original value. If you look at the control in the dialog box and you see different options there, you can change the macro to reflect the appropriate options for your system—just make sure you use the exact wording shown in the drop-down list.

If the simple approach doesn't work, then you'll want to use the more detailed method. This involves setting up two different printer definitions, each of which utilizes a different printer tray. You'd need to define these printers in Windows, and you'll want to make sure that when you print a test page (again, in Windows), it utilizes to the desired paper tray.

  1. Define a new printer in Windows for each paper tray you want to use. Each printer definition should use a name representative of a paper tray.
  2. Right-click on the printer definition you created for the first paper tray and change the properties of the printer so it prints using that tray.
  3. Print a test page and make sure it utilizes the expected paper tray.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other printer definition, making sure you specify the other paper tray for it.

At this point you have multiple printer definitions set up, and each will print to a different paper tray on the same printer. You can now specify the desired printer, in a macro, so that the printout goes to the desired paper tray.

Sub PrintTwoTrays()
    Dim sCurrentPrinter as String

    sCurrentPrinter = Application.ActivePrinter
    Application.ActivePrinter = "Tray 1 Printer"
    Application.PrintOut FileName:=""
    Application.ActivePrinter = "Tray 2 Printer"
    Application.PrintOut FileName:=""
    Application.ActivePrinter = sCurrentPrinter
End Sub

You'll obviously want to change the printer names in the macro to reflect the names you assigned to the newly created printer definitions.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10645) 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: Two Printed Copies to Different Paper Trays.

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

Calculating Future Workdays

Need to calculate the date that is a certain number of workdays in the future? You can do so using a couple of different ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Many Hyperlinks

Need to get rid of hyperlinks that result when you paste information from the Internet into your document? Here's the ways ...

Discover More

Understanding Leading

Those with a publishing, typographic, or design background may understand what leading is, but not how to adjust the setting ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Printing Custom Properties

Do you use custom document properties? They can be very helpful, but sometimes hard to get at. This tip shows a way you can ...

Discover More

Printing a Full Style Sheet

Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet ...

Discover More

Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults

Some of the built-in defaults in Word can't be changed. Often times, however, you can work around these defaults by using ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 6 - 0?

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.