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: Duplex by Default.

Duplex by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 12, 2014)

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 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. More information on this can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230743

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 (839) 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: 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Rounding Religious Wars

How to round values half way between two boundaries is apparently a topic of contention in some sectors of the ...

Discover More

Searching for Borders

Want to find all the paragraphs in your document that have borders applied to them? The regular Find and Replace tool ...

Discover More

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

When you are using Word, it normally saves temporary AutoRecover files that reflect the latest state of your document. If ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Multiple Pages Per Sheet

You can save on paper on your printouts by instructing Word to print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper. In fact, ...

Discover More

Margins Incorrect when Printing

Endnotes are easy enough to add and accumulate in a document. For this reason, Word makes it easy to jump from one ...

Discover More

Printing Shortcut Key Assignments

Shortcut keys are great timesavers when you don't want to remove your hands from the keyboard to mess with the mouse. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.