Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Scaling Your Output.

Scaling Your Output

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 1, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


You have been working on your document for hours. It is 35 pages long, and designed to be printed on legal-size paper. You decide to print the document, and discover you are out of legal paper. What do you do if you can't get any legal paper right away? You could reformat the document for letter-size paper, but that may not be the best solution.

Fortunately, Word includes a feature that allows you to independently specify a target paper size and an output paper size. This means you can format something for legal size, but instruct Word to scale the output so it will fit on letter size. This is very similar to a reduction setting on a copier. To take advantage of this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Load the document you want to print.
  2. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the File tab of the ribbon with the printing controls visible.
  3. The bottom control on the screen is one that allows you to specify how many pages should be printed per sheet of paper. Click this control and you'll see a series of options.
  4. Use the Scale to Paper Size option (move the mouse pointer over it) to specify the paper on which your document will be printed. (Use a setting of No Scaling if your output paper is the same as the paper size you used when you formatted your document.)
  5. Specify any other printing options, as desired.
  6. Click on Print to print your document.

If you are still using Word 2007, then the steps are different:

  1. Load the document you want to print.
  2. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  4. Use the Scale to Paper Size drop-down list (lower-right corner) to specify the paper on which your document will be printed. (Use a setting of No Scaling if your output paper is the same as the paper size you used when you formatted your document.)
  5. Specify any other printing options, as desired.
  6. Click on OK to print your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10936) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Scaling Your Output.

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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