Changing the Default 'Print What' Setting

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


When you print a document, Word attempts to figure out the best printing method, based on the characteristics of your document. If you have a regular document to print, and you display the Print dialog box, the Print What drop-down list is set to Document. However, if you have the Track Changes feature turned on, then the behavior of the Print dialog box differs.

When you turn on Track Changes, Word automatically changes the viewing mode to Final Showing Markup. This mode is obvious if you have the Reviewing toolbar displayed, and if you display the full View menu you will see the Markup toggle is selected. When you later display the Print dialog box, provided you have made at least one tracked edit, you will see that Document Showing Markup is now selected in the Print What drop-down list. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

If you don't want to print your markup, it can get bothersome to continually remember to change the Print What setting to Document. There is no way to change the value of this setting to some other default; it is set on-the-fly, each time you display the Print dialog box.

You can, however, create a macro to do your printing. The macro could then be assigned to a toolbar button or a shortcut key, so it can be quickly executed. The following macro prints one copy of the current document, as if you had selected Document in the Print What drop-down:

Sub PrintDoc()
    Application.PrintOut Range:=wdPrintAllDocument, _
      Item:=wdPrintDocumentContent, Copies:=1
End Sub

The Item parameter is the one that specifies what should be printed. If you wanted to print the document with markup, then Item should be set to wdPrintDocumentWithMarkup, whereas wdPrintDocumentContent prints just the document, without markup.

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 (3790) 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. ...

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