Documents Printing Out of Order

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 22, 2018)

Mark asked for help with a problem printing documents. Seems he has a macro that he uses to print his documents in the order desired. If there are 10 or fewer documents, then they print fine. If there are 11 or more, the first 10 are background printed and the remaining documents are foreground printed.

At first blush, this problem could seem to be a sorting problem. That is quickly dispelled, however, by realizing that if it were a sorting problem, document 10 would always print after document 1.

Which leads to the most likely scenario: The documents are simply filling up the space allocated and/or available for the background printing queue used by Word. (This is completely a supposition; I could find no hard documentation on whether there even is a space limitation on the queue.) In either case, the solution to the problem would be to simply turn off the background printing feature in the macro before beginning the print run.

What does that mean? Simply that the printing will take a while, as you wait for each document to print. Of course, the macro could be made "smart" by only turning off the background printing feature if it detects, before printing the first document, that there are more than 10 documents in the entire job.

To turn off background printing in a VBA macro, simply include this line at the beginning of the macro:

Options.PrintBackground = False

When you later want to turn background printing on again, use the following line:

Options.PrintBackground = True

If turning off background printing is not satisfactory (meaning, you don't want to wait for the printer any longer than absolutely necessary), there are a couple of other options. The first, of course, is to use the master document feature of Word. This feature has been "featured" in other WordTips, and I can safely state that not that many Word users are satisfied with the feature.

Which brings us to the final potential solution: You can use the INCLUDETEXT field to build a document that includes all your "subdocuments," and then just print the single document. This could be done under macro control, as well. Simply use your macro to open a new document, calculate the name of each document you want to print, and then insert an INCLUDETEXT field that uses that name. The macro could finish out by printing the document it created and then throwing it away. The minimal syntax for the INCLUDETEXT field, as required for this macro, is as follows:

{INCLUDETEXT "MyFile1.doc"}

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (842) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adjusting Spacing After a Paragraph

There is no need to press Enter a second time at the end of each paragraph. Let Word take care of the spacing ...

Discover More

Changing Outline Structure

When working with the outline of a document, you can easily move whole sections of your document. It is as easy as ...

Discover More

Date Last Edited

You can insert several dynamic dates into your document. One you may want is to add the date when the last edit was ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Misbehaving Leader Dots

Leader dots can be a great formatting "flourish" to use in your documents. If the leader dots don't print out correctly, ...

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 Close to the Edge

Word allows you to specify all sorts of paper sizes and margins for your documents. If your margins result in trying to ...

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 one less 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.