Documents Printing Out of Order

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2013)

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"}

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

Multiple Indexes in a Document

Adding a single index to a document is fairly easy. What if you want to add multiple indexes, however? And what if you want ...

Discover More

How Excel Treats Disk Files

Workbooks are loaded from disk files, but workbooks aren't the only type of files that Excel can load. This tip provides a ...

Discover More

Sequentially Numbering Footnotes

If you have a document with lots of footnotes, you might notice that some of those footnotes are not in numerical order, like ...

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)

Automatic Font Color Won't Print Properly

Imagine that you go to print your document, and all the text you can see on the screen just isn't there on the ...

Discover More

Printing Copy Numbers

Copy 1, Copy 2, Copy 3... Do you want to mark your printouts so that they are numbered? Here's how you can do it.

Discover More

Scaling Your Output

One of the lesser-known features of Word is that it allows you to create a document for one page size and scale the output 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 8Mpixels. 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 eight minus 3?

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.