Saving Print Specifications with a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 16, 2019)

Kaushik wonders if it is possible to save printing specifications with a document? He has a printer in the office named Xerox and he wants to create a Word document containing a report, setting the printing settings within that doc (3 copies, color, left binding, etc.). When someone else opens the document and chooses to print, Kaushik would like those same specifications to be used when that person (or any other person) chooses to print.

There is no built-in way to do this in Word as print specifications are set as you go to print, and not before. It may be possible, however, to set up a macro to do the printing just the way you want. The easiest way to figure out if this is the case is to turn on the macro recorder, go through your print-setup routine, print the document, and then turn off the macro recorder. If you are lucky, you may be able to then use the recorded macro to do your printing of that document.

I say "if you are lucky" because there are some printer-related settings that may not be recordable using a macro. It all depends on what your printer driver makes available to the Word object model and, via that, to VBA. A good example is a printer that I have which does stapling. Even if I configure the printer to staple output from a print job, those steps to do the configuration are ignored by the macro recorder.

This means that once your macro is recorded, you'll need to take a look at the code in the macro to make sure all your configuration steps are there. Sound like a hassle? It can be. It is even more of a hassle when you realize that any macro you create is necessarily tied to a specific printer make and model and may not work with other printers. If you plan on saving the macro with the document and expecting others to be able to print using that macro, this can be a huge stumbling block unless you are sure they have the same version of Word as you, the same printer make and the same printer model. (And, sometimes, use the same route to get to the printer as you—especially if you access the printer via a network.)

As a workaround, you may want to simply create different types of output that meets your specs. For instance, if you need to create both a color and B&W version of a report, you might want to save both types of output to individual PDF files. You can then provide those PDF files to others (instead of the originating Word document) so they can actually create the prints.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13700) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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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