How to Print Double-Sided in Microsoft Word

490138 How to Print Double-Sided in Microsoft Word

Printing double-sided, also known as duplex printing, allows you to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. This saves on paper use and makes documents easier to read in a booklet format. Modern printers usually have built-in support for double-sided printing, but you may need to enable the option in Word’s print settings first.

In this guide, you’ll learn several methods for double-sided printing in Word on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Enable Double-Sided Printing

The first step is to check if your printer supports automatic duplex printing. If so, you simply need to enable the option in Word itself.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Word document you want to print. Go to File > Print to open the print pane.
  2. Click on Settings or Options depending on your Word version.
  3. Look for the double-sided printing option. This may be called Two-Sided, Duplex Printing, Print on Both Sides, etc.
  4. Choose whether you want to flip pages on the long edge or short edge. Long edge is better suited for documents that read like a book.
  5. Click OK to save the double-sided setting. Now when you print, Word will automatically print each page twice for duplexing.

Print Settings in Different Word Versions

The print dialog box looks slightly different between Windows and Mac versions of Word. Here are the basic steps for the most common versions:

Word for Microsoft 365 and Word 2019 (Windows):

  1. Click Print > Printer Properties link
  2. Select double-sided printing option

Word for Office 365 (Mac):

  1. Click Print > Layout dropdown
  2. Choose double-sided printing

Word for Microsoft 365 (Mac):

  1. Click Print > Two-Sided dropdown
  2. Pick long-edge or short-edge binding

By default, most printers will duplex pages by flipping them on the long edge so they read like a book. Refer to your printer’s manual if you are unsure about the differences.

Print a Double-Sided Booklet

For documents like reports, guides, and presentations, you may want to arrange pages so they can be folded into a booklet. Word’s book fold layout is perfect for this.

To print a double-sided booklet:

  1. Go to the Layout tab and click Margins > Paper Size.
  2. Choose Book Fold from the dropdown list.
  3. Back in the print settings, select the double-sided option as covered above.
  4. Click Print. Word will process the pages so everything is lined up properly when folded in half.

The booklet printing feature handles the page order automatically. Just remember to designate double-sided printing or else Word will only print single-sided.

Print Double-Sided Manually

If your printer does not support automatic duplex printing, don’t worry – you can still print double-sided pages manually.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the Word document and access the print settings.
  2. Check for a Manual duplex option. Select it if available. If you don’t see this setting, you’ll need to print each side separately.
  3. Select which side you want to print first – either the odd or even pages. Print the document.
  4. Take the printed pages and flip the stack over to print the opposite pages.
  5. Feed the stack through the printer again to print the back sides.

Manually duplex printing takes a bit more time and effort, but it gets the job done if your printer lacks built-in double-sided support.

Paper Orientation is Important!

When printing double-sided manually, pay close attention to the paper orientation.

  • For a portrait oriented document, pages flip along the short edge of the paper.
  • For landscape orientation, pages flip along the long edge.

Print a test page first before printing the entire stack if you are unsure of the correct orientation.

Set Double-Sided Printing as Default

If you routinely print double-sided in Word, it’s a good idea to set it as the default print layout. This saves you having to enable duplex settings every single time.

Here’s how to save double-sided as a default:

Word for Windows:

  1. Go to File > Options > Display.
  2. Under Printing Options, check the box for Print One Sided.

Word for Mac:

  1. Go to Word > Preferences > Print.
  2. Check the box for Two Sided.

Now double-sided printing will be selected automatically whenever you print. You can still change it through the print dialog if ever you need single-sided printing.

Troubleshooting Double-Sided Printing

Printing issues can happen when duplex printing. Here are some tips for troubleshooting:

  • Always print a couple test pages first before printing the entire document. Check the orientation, alignment, and print quality.
  • If text or images are cut off or misaligned between pages, there is likely an issue with the print margins. Adjust them to be narrower.
  • Certain paper types like glossy photo paper may not feed properly for duplex printing. Refer to your printer’s manual for recommended paper types.
  • If prints are coming out faded or blurry on one side, there could be a problem with the printer’s duplexer attachment. See if you can clean or replace the duplex unit.
  • Switch to manual duplex printing instead of automatic duplex if you continue having issues.

And that’s everything you need to know about printing double-sided pages in Word! The basic process is straightforward. Just remember to select the duplex option, properly orient pages, and print a test page first before printing the entire document.