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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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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Printing a Document's Mirror Image.
Word does a great job of printing documents. However, for some purposes you might find it useful to print a mirror image of a document—where everything is reversed on the printout, and you can only see it correctly if you look at the document in a mirror. For example, you might need such a mirror image if you are doing silk screening onto tee shirts or coffee mugs with the output you create.
Unfortunately, Word has no intrinsic setting that allows you to create mirrored output. There are ways you can achieve the same results, however. The first thing you should do is to check out the capabilities of your printer driver. Most PostScript printers (and many non-PostScript HP printers) include the capability to mirror the output. The feature is not limited to laser printers, either. Many ink-jet printers include the capability to do mirrored output.
All you need to do is click on the Properties button in the Print dialog box and then do a little exploring in the various tabs and controls. On my printer, the option is contained in a portion of the dialog box entitled PostScript Options. Yours, obviously, may be in a different place. The feature may have a name such as "mirror output" or "flip horizontal."
If you search high and low and cannot find such an option, there is a tricky low-tech solution you can use. All you need to do is print from Word, like normal, on a piece of overhead transparency film. Then, turn the printed film upside down and copy it on a copier. The result—mirrored output, just like you need.
Finally, if you don't want to mess with the transparencies (it can get a bit expensive if you have many pages to do), you can follow these general steps, instead:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1475) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Printing a Document's Mirror Image.
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