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: Preventing Printing.

Preventing Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 13, 2015)

1

An industrious WordTips subscriber asked if it is possible to prevent a user from actually printing a document in Word. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way short of making sure the user doesn't have a printer attached to their system.

Why? The easy answer is because Word is meant to print things. You can, of course, customize Word so that the print-related commands are removed from the toolbars and menus. You can also replace Word's built-in print commands with commands that do nothing. However, that doesn't stop people from actually doing a screen print of what is on the computer screen, thereby ending up with the information on a printout. In addition, people could bypass executing the macros by simply disabling them when the document is loaded. Another way around such customizations is for the user to simply copy text from the print-inhibited document and paste it into a new document that has no such customizations. The document could then easily be printed.

You can also try non-Word solutions, such as using Adobe Acrobat to create a protected PDF file that cannot be printed. However, even then the user could still do a screen print of what they see.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1583) 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: Preventing Printing.

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

Emoticons in Word

Like to add a smiley or two to your writing? Word makes it easy through creative use of the AutoCorrect feature.

Discover More

Age Calculation with Fields

People don't normally think of using fields to do any calculations. Even so, you can use fields to perform a simple ...

Discover More

Determining the Day of the Year

Need to find out the day of the year for a particular date? It's easy to do if you are using a macro. All you need to do ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Guidelines for Laser Printer Letterhead

Plan on using printed letterhead in your laser printer? Here are some tips and cautions about doing so.

Discover More

Printing without Footnotes

Want to print your document without all those footnotes included? It's not quite as easy as you might think, as this tip ...

Discover More

Printing a Short Selection

Want to print just a selection from within your document? It's easy to do when you print using the Print dialog box.

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 nine more than 0?

2016-07-25 16:43:55

Mark Delorme

How would you code the VBA script for interfering, i.e. preventing printing, with the regular Microsoft Word command line process?


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.