Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Scaling Your Output.

Scaling Your Output

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 30, 2017)

You have been working on your document for hours. It is 35 pages long, and designed to be printed on legal-size paper. You decide to print the document, and discover you are out of legal paper. What do you do if you can't get any legal paper right away? You could reformat the document for letter-size paper, but that may not be the best solution.

Fortunately, Word includes a feature that allows you to independently specify a target paper size and an output paper size. This means you can format something for legal size, but instruct Word to scale the output so it will fit on letter size. This is very similar to a reduction setting on a copier. To take advantage of this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Load the document you want to print.
  2. Choose the Print option from the File menu. Word displays the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  4. Use the Scale to Paper Size drop-down list (lower-right corner) to specify the paper on which your document will be printed. (Use a setting of No Scaling if your output paper is the same as the paper size you used when you formatted your document.)
  5. Specify any other printing options, as desired.
  6. Click on OK to print your document.

You should note that this scaling feature was introduced in Word 2000, so it is not available in Word 97.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1832) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Scaling Your Output.

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. ...


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