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Printing a Document's Mirror Image

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:

  1. Prepare your document as normal.
  2. Press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  3. Press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
  4. Switch to a graphics program, such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop.
  5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the document's image into the program.
  6. Using the features of the graphics program, flip the image as desired.
  7. Select the entire image and copy it back to the Clipboard.
  8. Switch back to Word and paste the graphics object into the document.
  9. Print as desired.

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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Comments for this tip:

Lyn    27 Jul 2014, 14:22
Elisabeth I thank you so much, I can now put the names onto my granddaughter's family tree quilt, finishing it with style.
Everyone else's had me downloading programs all over the place, yours was extraordinarily easy
Thanks again
Elisabeth    23 Jul 2014, 15:23
Another way:
Use Word Art or a Text Box. Type the word or phrase in the area. When a box is around the word or phrase, there should be an ability to use your mouse on the of the box and pull it to the opposite side. When you fix the box to make is uncluttered, the words are now "mirrored" and you can print for your artwork.
Kallie    07 Jun 2014, 17:09
Thank you so much! This article was a live saver!
Tess    04 Oct 2013, 08:01
Thank you sooo much. That was so easy but yet i couldn't find anything helpfull over the internet untill now.
OMR FARUK    28 Nov 2012, 09:36
Thanks for your nice tips
Kimberly     27 Oct 2012, 11:18
Thank you so much! I have a HP printer and I very easily found where to turn on 'mirror image'.
Lana    23 Oct 2012, 19:19
This was extremely helpful and easy to do. Thank you!
Linda Lee    10 Jun 2012, 15:14
The paint program worked great for me! Thank you so much. My new printer did not have the capability to print mirror image, which I need for some double sided pictures.
Angela    12 May 2012, 23:10
Thanks for your help. My husband couldn't help me with this one, and he is my go to computer guy.
Thanks :)
Pete    08 May 2012, 05:20
You can also use cutePDF printer and select the PostScript option "Mirrored Output" under printing preferences --> advanced.
Joan    25 Apr 2012, 23:51
Thank you! I have looked all over the internet on how to mirror a document in Word and they all told me the same steps and none of them worked. Your website is the only one that gave simple instructions that actually worked.

Thank you!

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