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: Duplex by Default.

Duplex by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2020)

1

One of the niftiest features on many top-end printers is that they can duplex your documents. This means that they will print on both sides of a piece of paper. While the printing time is not decreased, the paper consumed by a print job is cut in half.

Assuming you have the latest printer driver for your printer, you can use the Properties dialog box for the printer to specify that you want to print your document duplexed. You can get to these settings by displaying the Print dialog box (Word 2007) or the printer settings page (later versions of Word) and then clicking on Properties. Unfortunately, Word will not remember this setting from one Word session to the next, nor will it store the setting with the document (as some other programs allow).

The problem is further compounded by the fact that you cannot access the individual settings in the Properties dialog box for a printer through the use of VBA. The reason is that the settings are maintained by the printer driver, not by Word—and Word doesn't make the printer driver objects available in VBA.

Even so, it is theoretically possible to write a macro that will auto change a printer's Property settings, but it is definitely not a recommended option. Why? Because to change the printer's settings requires working with the Windows API. This is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

There is one thing you can try, provided your printer uses PCL (printer control language, used with many HP printers). You can set up a PRINT field in the header or footer of your document. The field contains a command that can be sent directly to the printer to turn on duplexing. Exactly how you create a PRINT field has been covered in other issues of WordTips. The field syntax to use is as follows:

{ PRINT 27"&l1S" }

Remember that his approach works only with printers that use the PCL printer driver (and the printer must support duplexing, of course). The approach will not work with PostScript printers, since PostScript doesn't control the printer, just what goes on the 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 (12901) 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: Duplex by Default.

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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What is five minus 4?

2020-12-07 22:31:58

Tomek

I remember I used to set-up duplex printing as a setting of a printer in Control Panel. Then anything that was sent to that printer was printed in duplex. I think this still works as illustrated below.

At home, I have two printers set up in Windows with slightly different names; I connect to one via USB and to the other via WiFi, but both are physically the same printer (Epson WF-7510). One is set up to print as single sided the other as duplex. When I switch the printer in Word in printer settings page, it automatically switches to print single sided or duplex as per printer settings in Control panel.

Finally, I set the printer that prints in duplex as my default printer. That way, any document that opens in Word will by default print in duplex. If I want single-sided document I just select the other printer.

I used the same trick at work, where we have several printers on the network. Some of them are the same model (Xerox), so I could add the second printer to my computer, then in printer settings I would set one to single sided and the other to duplex printing. Then in the second printer settings I would change the port IP address to be the same as the printer that is actually close to my office.

Please let me know if you would like more details on this. I would appreciate if you let me know if setting of printing preferences in Windows to duplex worked for you.
Best Regards,
Tomek Dluzniewski.


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