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: Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults.

Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2017)


Marie asked for a way to change the defaults in the Print dialog box so that she could, by default, simply print the current page. Unfortunately, there is no way to change the defaults; Word always resets them to its internal settings whenever the Print dialog box is first displayed. However, there are a couple of ways you can work around this problem.

The first method is to simply record a macro that prints the current page. Once recorded you can assign the macro to the toolbar or give it a shortcut key. (How you do these things has been covered in other issues of WordTips.) Now you don't even need to pull up the regular Print dialog box to print the current page—you have your own macro that does the work for you with a single click. The following is an example of such a macro:

Sub PrintCurrentPage()
    Application.PrintOut FileName:="", Range:=wdPrintCurrentPage, _
      Item:= wdPrintDocumentContent, Copies:=1, Pages:="", _
      PageType:=wdPrintAllPages, Collate:=False, _
      Background:=True, PrintToFile:=False
End Sub

If you would like something that really does change the settings in the Print dialog box, you can only do so using a macro. Understand, however, that this approach doesn't change the defaults, but changes the settings. Thus, when you call the macro, the Print dialog box is invoked and the settings changed from the defaults by the macro. This may sound a bit confusing, but it simply means that any number of setting changes are made for you before you have the chance to view the Print dialog box.

Public Sub PrintCurrentPageDialog()
    With Dialogs(wdDialogFilePrint)
        .Range = wdPrintCurrentPage
    End With
End Sub

In this case, the macro sets the Range value in the Print dialog box to the current page before showing it. Once the dialog box is shown, the macro is over and you can manually make other dialog box setting changes, as desired.

It is interesting to note that if you name the foregoing macro FilePrint (instead of PrintCurrentPageDialog), then the macro essentially replaces the built-in Word command that comes into play when you select Print from the File menu. Thus, you have changed (ever so slightly) what the built-in Word command does.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1487) 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: Changing Print Dialog Box Defaults.

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. ...


Pulling Tables Back Into View

If you make structural changes to your table by adding new columns here and there, you could easily end up with a table ...

Discover More

Keeping a Picture Title with the Picture

Pictures and their titles go together like peanut butter and jelly. (Wow, did I just say that?) Seriously, pictures and ...

Discover More

Searching and Sorting Files Made Easy

Sifting through many files to find the exact file you need can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if you have lots of ...

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)

Collating Copies

If you are printing more than one copy of a multi-page document, it would be great if Word could print them in complete ...

Discover More

Sending Printer Commands

If you need to send a command directly to your printer, then you need to use the PRINT field. It allows you to send ...

Discover More

Printing XML Tags

Word 2003 allows you to use and save your information in XML format. If you want to, you can have Word print a document's ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 8?

2015-12-10 10:41:43

Lucio Loiero

How is possibile to choose the printer in the print dialog box?

2015-10-09 14:11:04


Using the second method above, is it possible to automatically set the print range to print various sections of the document; e.g. .Range = "s1, s4, s5-"


2015-03-19 07:08:42


thank you

2013-07-27 05:53:42


On calling the wdDialogFilePrint dialog I want the radiobutton Selection to be active. However, the following seems not to be the correct code:

With Dialogs(wdDialogFilePrint)
.Range = wdSelection
End With

What do I need to adjust?

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

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.