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How to Print Double Sided

Interested in printing a document on both sides of the paper? Certain printers provide automatic double-sided printing (known as duplexing), while others allow you to manually reinsert pages to enable printing on both sides. This wikiHow article provides step-by-step instructions on utilizing your Windows or Mac computer to print a document on both sides of a page using Microsoft Word and other applications.

Important Information to Consider

  • Adjust your printer settings in the Control Panel's Printer Preferences if you prefer double-sided printing as the default option.
  • The appearance of the print dialog window may vary across different software, but you should be able to locate options like "Double-Sided" or "Print on Both Sides".
  • If your printer does not have automatic double-sided printing, you can manually achieve this by reinserting the pages during the printing process.



Method 1 On PC

1 Determine if your printer is capable of double-sided printing. If you are using Word, access the File tab and click on Print. From there, you can choose either Print One Sided > Manually Print on Both Sides or Print on Both Sides. If you see the option for Print on Both Sides, it indicates that your printer supports automatic duplex printing.

  • Don't have Word? You can refer to your printer's manual for information. If you have multiple printers connected to your computer, one of them may support duplex printing, while another may require manual page reinsertion for double-sided printing.

2 Ensure that your computer is properly connected to your printer. Under the "Printer" heading near the top of the window, you will find the name of the currently selected printer displayed.

  • If required, connect the printer's cable to a USB port on your computer.
  • To switch to a different printer, click on its name and select the desired printer from the drop-down menu.

3 Access the Control Panel. For Windows 10 or 11, simply press the Win key to open the Start menu and type "Control Panel." Choose the relevant app result from the list to open Control Panel.

4 Click on Devices and Printers. In case the list is categorized instead of displaying icons, you will need to click on View Devices and Printers.

5 Right-click on a printer. If your printer does not appear in the list, it indicates a connection issue. When you right-click, a menu will appear next to your cursor.

6 Select the Printing Preferences option, which is typically located in the first group of options in the menu.

Alternatively, you can access the preferences window by navigating to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners > Your Printer > Manage > Printing Preferences.

7 Click on the dropdown menu next to "Print on Both Sides" and select an automatic setting. The specific wording for this option may vary depending on your printer's manufacturer, but you should see options for automatic double-sided printing as well as manual double-sided printing.

  • If needed, click on Advancedand navigate to Printer Features to locate the double-sided printing option.
  • Once you have made your desired changes, click on Applyto save them as the default settings.

8 To begin, access the Print dialog in the software you are using, such as Word or Acrobat. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + P to open the print dialog window.

  • Next, choose the option for double-sided printing. In some cases, you may need to click on Properties before you can access this setting.

9 Click on Print, typically located at the bottom of the window. However, in Microsoft Word, you will find the Print button at the top of the window. By clicking Print, your printer will be prompted to start printing your document.



Method 2 On Mac

1 To access the software's printing options, click on the File menu located at the top-left side of the menu bar on your screen.

2 To initiate the printing process, select the Print option found in the File drop-down menu. This action will open the Print window.

  • Alternatively, you can press Cmd + Pas a shortcut to access the Print options.

3 Ensure that your Mac is properly connected to the printer. This connection can either be through a wireless connection with an AirPrint printer or through a direct USB connection. The name of the currently selected printer can be found under the "Printer" heading near the top of the window.

  • To modify the selected printer, simply click on its name and choose the desired printer from the available options in the drop-down menu.

4 To enable double-sided printing, locate and check the box labeled "Two-Sided." Note that the appearance and location of this option may vary depending on the application and printer dialog being used. If you're unable to find the two-sided printing option, you might need to navigate to "Copies & Pages" and then select "Layout." This should provide access to the desired setting.

  • In the case of using Word, selecting the "Two-Sided" box will typically reveal a drop-down menu. From this menu, choose the option "Long-Edge Binding" in most cases.
  • If you don't find the double-sided printing option, it indicates that your printer does not support automatic duplex printing. In this scenario, you will need to perform the task of printing on both sides manually.

5 Click on the "Print" button located at the bottom of the window. This will initiate the printing process, and your document will start printing in double-sided format.

Method 3

Printing Double-Sided Manually

1 Create a small pencil mark on the upper portion of the paper used for printing. The mark should be made on the side of the paper that faces up, near the short edge that is closest to the printer.

2 Click on File, located in the top-left corner of the screen, and then select Print from the resulting drop-down menu. By performing these actions, you will open the Print window.

  • Before proceeding to print, make sure you have opened the item you wish to print. If it is not open already, please open it first.
  • Additionally, you can use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ Command+P on Mac or Ctrl+P on PC to directly open the Print window.

3 Find the "Page Range" section, which provides the option to choose specific pages for printing.

  • In some cases, you might need to click on a circle labeled "Pages" to activate the Page Range option before proceeding.

4 To specify which pages of your document should be printed in the first round, enter either odd or even numbers. 

  • For instance, if your document consists of ten pages, you can enter either 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 for odd pages, or 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 for even pages. This selection will determine the pages to be printed during the initial printing process.

5 Ensure that your printer is connected and ready for use. You can verify the name of the currently selected printer located below the "Printer" heading at the top of the window.

  • In case you need to switch to a different printer, simply click on the current printer's name and choose your desired printer from the options displayed in the drop-down menu.

6 Click on the "Print" button to initiate the printing process. This action will prompt your document to start printing, including only the pages that are designated as either even or odd numbers, based on your selected settings.

7 To identify which side of the paper was printed, locate the pencil mark. This marking will indicate the orientation for re-inserting your paper. Follow the instructions based on the following scenarios:

  • Place the print side face-down and pencil mark face-down- Position the sheet of paper with the print side facing the printer, and ensure that the top of the paper is facing down.
  • Place the print side face-up and pencil mark on opposite sides- Position the sheet of paper with the print side facing up towards the printer, and make sure the top of the paper is facing the printer.

8 Reinsert the printed pages into the printer, making sure to align them correctly with the penciled mark.

9 Reopen the Print window by pressing ⌘ Command+P (Mac) or Ctrl+P (Windows).

10 Enter a different page range. For instance, if you previously entered even numbers for the page range, this time you will input odd numbers.

11 Click on the "Print" button. If your pages are arranged correctly, the unprinted pages will be printed on the reverse side of the currently printed ones.

Community Q&A

How can you print something double-sided from the internet?

Once you choose the Print option, your printer's dialog box will provide a double-sided printing option. Initially, it will print one side of the document's pages. Afterward, you'll need to flip the pages (potentially rearranging them), place them on the printer's paper tray, and it will proceed to print the opposite sides. Higher-end printers and copiers may support double-sided printing without requiring you to return the pages to the tray, although these are commonly found in office settings.


What should be done if the option for two-sided printing is disabled or grayed out?

Double-sided printing may not be supported by every printer. To determine if your printer is capable of double-sided printing, refer to the printer's specifications and check for this feature.


If the double-sided printing option is unavailable or grayed out on my Mac, how can I still print double-sided?

It is likely that your printer can only print one side at a time, requiring manual double-sided printing. Start by printing only the odd-numbered pages, then rotate the printed pages and place them facing downward in the paper tray. Proceed to print the even-numbered pages on the backside of the previously printed ones. Take some time to experiment and determine the correct orientation for the pages.

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