Setting the Default Print Preview Zoom Factor

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 25, 2017)

Dudley noticed that when he clicks on Print Preview, the resulting display is zoomed at a 33% rate. He was wondering if it is possible to have Word display the preview at, perhaps, a 50% zoom factor instead.

The short answer is that it isn't possible. Why? Because the hard-wired starting point for Print Preview is to use a "Whole Page" zoom factor. This is because Print Preview is designed to let you see what the page will look like when printed, not necessarily to read what is on that page. There is no way to change this default zoom factor setting in Print Preview itself.

There are workarounds, however. The "Whole Page" zoom factor can vary in size, depending on the size of the actual page you are displaying and depending on the size of the program window you are using to display Word. Thus, if you maximize the program window, you end up with more space in which to display the page in Print Preview. This means that Print Preview's "Whole Page" zoom factor doesn't need to shrink the page as much in order to display the whole page.

A logical extension of this is that you could also reduce the shrinkage by making sure that you are using the largest screen resolution possible in Windows. Larger screen resolutions allow you to put more information on the screen, and therefore less shrinkage is needed in Print Preview.

The other possible workaround is to create a macro that will display Print Preview for you. The macro could be assigned to a shortcut key or a toolbar button for easy use. Here's an example of a macro that will invoke Print Preview and then set the zoom factor to 50%.

Sub MyPrintPrev()
    With ActiveWindow.View
        .Type = wdPrintPreview
        .Zoom.Percentage = 50
    End With
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (494) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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