How To Print On Both Sides

For anyone who’s ever had worked on any project that needs a lot of printed pages, the question of how many pages you can squeeze on a sheet of paper probably popped up more than once.

The thing is, modern-day printing technology enables us to print a great number of digital pages, so to speak, on a single sheet of paper.

This article will talk about how to print on both sides of your disposal by printing on sides. (It’s up to you how many pages you want to squeeze in, but it’s probably best if one page corresponds to one side of a sheet of paper.)

That said, some slight differences are depending on which operating system you use. In the passages below, we’ll describe how to do this using a Windows operating system and a Mac. We’ll also add in a third manual to do it if you want to do it in a customized way, so to speak.

Here’s the deal.

How To Print On Both Sides

Print On Both Sides does it make sense to print eight pages on a single A4 sheet of paper?

Sure, you will save money that way, but you need a magnifying glass to read the text on these pages or look at the images.

Typically, for clarity’s sake, in most professional environments, one page in a Word document corresponds to one page on an A4 piece of paper. This simple layout enables you to read the contents of this page easily and comfortably.

In some cases, if you’re a student who doesn’t have that much money to afford this way of printing, two pages can be squeezed onto one side of a sheet of paper, which means four pages on a single A4 piece of paper, if you print on both sides.

As you will see, printing on both sides of a single piece of paper is a pretty straightforward procedure.

3 Different Ways to Print on Both Sides

how to print on both sides

As we announced in the introduction, there are three ways to print on both sides of the paper.

We should have probably explained two ways of printing on both sides of the paper, but you need a printer that can do this.

If you own a newer printer, the chances are that this contraption will have this feature inbuilt already, so you don’t need to read the third option.

This third option represents a way of working around wanting to print on both sides of the paper but using a printer that can only print on one side. As you will see, figuring out how to bypass this bottleneck common in older printers is fairly easy, so you don’t need to feel handicapped that you don’t have a printer that can print on both sides.

i) Printing on Both Sides Using PC

If you’re using a PC, chances are – you’re using Microsoft Word or a similar program with elaborate printing options. This means that the course of action for printing on both sides of the paper is pretty straightforward.

(Unless your printer doesn’t support this feature, of course. If this is the case, skip to the third section of this article, explaining how to print on both sides manually.)

Anyway, to explain how to do this on a PC with a printer that does support this feature, we’ll be using Microsoft Word as an example. Here’s how it works:

1. Click the File Tab

Before you do this, you need to have the document you want to print already open in Word. The File tab is located in the upper left corner, usually right underneath the SAVE icon that looks like a small floppy disk.

Once you hit the File button, a drop-down menu will appear with many different options such as Save as, Print, Export, and so on.

2. Click the ‘Print’ Option

Since you want to print, what you need to do is hit the Print section. Now, depending on what version of Word you’re using, the File window we mentioned above may pop up in the form of a drop-down menu (which is the case in the most recent versions of this program), but it can also pop up as a completely new window. Either way, within this window, you will find the Print option fairly easily.

Once you hit the Print option, a new pop-up will appear to find different print parameters, including preview and many other settings.

(By the way, if you couldn’t locate the Print button, you can also press the Ctrl key and letter P simultaneously, and the Print pop-up will appear.)

3. Select the ‘Two-Sided’ Option

Once you’ve entered the Print window, you will see different subsections with certain options to explore further. To print on both sides of the paper, you need to locate the option that says ‘Print One-Sided.’

The way folks at Microsoft organized these options is that you need to click on this ‘Print One Sided’ option, and then a drop-down menu will appear that will give you the option of ‘One Sided’ (which is already toggled on) or ‘Print Two-Sided.’

Now, when it comes to the exact wording of this option, it’s not uniform across different versions of Microsoft Word, but you’ll be able to easily figure out what the option is when you see it.

In terms of location this option in the Print window, you can look in subsections called Page Layout or Duplex Printing, again, depending on which version of Word you’re using.

4. Select the Printer and Hit ‘Print’

Before you can start printing the document you opened, you need to connect the printer to your computer. If you have multiple printers you’re using, and the computer recognizes them all, then you need to choose which printer you want to use for the printing task at hand.

Once you’ve done this (assuming you’ve set the two-sided printing option we’ve described above), all you need to do is hit Print, and the printer will start doing its magic.

(A quick note: One thing that can hamper the printing process, in this case, is if the printer doesn’t have enough toner inside its cartridges. If this is the case, you need to refill the cartridges first or use a different printer.)

ii) Printing on Both Sides Using Mac

While the procedure for making your printer print your documents on both sides of the page is pretty much 95% the same on Mac as it is on PC, there are some slight differences, which is why we’ve decided to dedicate a separate section to this article to explain how this works.

First things first, just as the case is with PC, to print a document on Mac, you need to open this document in a program that allows you to print the document and set the ‘two-sided’ option before you start printing.

For the four steps below, we’ll also be using a version of Word that works on Mac. Here’s how the steps go:

1. Open the ‘File’ Tab

Just as you would do on a PC running a Windows operating system, the Word that’s adapted for Mac will have pretty much all the same features as its PC counterpart.

So, to print a document on a Mac computer, first, open the document itself. Next, locate the File button and press it to open a drop-down menu.

If you can’t find the File button in the top left corner to the right of the Word symbol, which itself is to the right of the Apple symbol, you can also hit the Command button on your Mac keyboard, and the File drop-down will appear.

2. Click the ‘Print’ Button

Once the File drop-down menu appears, you will see different subsections, including ‘Open recent,’ ‘Close,’ ‘Share,’ and others. Among these, you will also find the Print subsection.

When you click this button, a special Print window will open, where you will find various options for setting printing parameters. As you will see, the interface on this window is pretty easy to navigate, so you probably won’t have that much trouble figuring out the next step.

By the way, if you couldn’t locate the Print button on the drop-down menu, you can also hit the Command button and the letter P on the keyboard on your keyboard simultaneously, and the Print window will appear. (The same way it works on PC.)

3. Navigate to ‘Copies & Pages’ Bar

… which is located beneath the Printer and Presets subsections. This Copies & Pages section allows you to perform different changes to the layout of the page you’re printing.

This is why this subsection includes options that say ‘Layout’ and ‘Paper Handling,’ where you can set other parameters related to the way you want the paper to be positioned, among other settings.

4. Click on ‘Layout’ and Find the ‘Two-Sided’ Option

In the drop-down menu that will appear after you go to Copies & Pages, you’ll see the Layout subsection. Once you click that subsection, a new window (or a drop-down) will appear where you will see the option that allows you to choose the ‘two-sided option.’

This two-sided option will appear either in the form of a checkbox (in which case you need to check it to toggle the two-sided way of the printing simply) or in the form of another drop-down menu that’s smaller in size.

If the drop-down menu appears, you can choose to toggle the two-sided printing on.

After you’ve done this, you can hit the Print button, and the printing process can begin.

Of course, you need to make sure first that you’ve connected the printer to your printer before you’ve done all of this so that the computer knows exactly what printer to choose for the job in case you have multiple printer devices that you use regularly.

iii) Printing on Both Sides Manually

This third option is dedicated to the folks who are using an older printer that doesn’t have the two-side printing feature.

You can also use this type of printing with a printer with two-sided option, but this is unnecessary.

The procedure for printing two-sided this way is fairly similar to the other two we already explained above. The key difference is that you’ll have to set the printing parameters slightly differently and that you’ll need to flip the papers in your printer’s feed manually.

Also, this process is practically the same for both PC and Mac users. So there’s no need to create two separate subsections here.

Here’s how to do it in more detail:

1. Mark the Pages

… so you can always know what side is supposed to go up when the first batch has already been printed. It often happens that you put in a batch of about ten papers in the paper tray, then flip it for the even pages to get printed (in case you started with the odd numbers with page 1 as the first page), and then realize that you accidentally turned the whole bundle of papers upside down.

So, to prevent this, before you start any printing, mark the pages with a pen.

2. Click ‘File’ and Then ‘Print’

To start your printing process, follow the same procedure as the case was with the two-sided printing we already explained above.

3. Locate the ‘Page Range’ Section

Usually, the Page Range section will be somewhere in the Print window that you just opened, typically under the Pages subcategory.

The goal with this ‘Page Range section’ is to type in the range of pages, as the name of this subsection implies itself, so that the printer knows exactly which ones to print and which ones to ignore.

4. Manually Add the Numbers of Pages to Be Printed

In this step, you will add the pages you wish to be printed by hand. The best way to go about this would be to go with the odd numbers first because you want the first page to be printed first.

At the same time, it doesn’t make much difference even if you go the other way around, so this is up to you.

For example:

  • If your documents have twenty pages, you can start: 1,3,5,7,9, ……17,19.
  • Next, when you flip the papers in the printer, you set the pages: 2,4,6,8, …..18,20.

5. Hit ‘Print’

Once you set up the first series of numbers (let’s say you chose the odd ones first), hit the Print button, and the printer will start printing only the odd pages.

Once this process is complete, take the printed papers out of the tray, flip them (mind the pen mark), set the even pages, and start the process.

Final Verdict

All in all, printing a document on both sides of the paper is a pretty straightforward business on both PCs and Macs. If you have a newer printer model with a two-sided feature, this printing task is a piece of cake. If not, it’s still pretty easy, but you’ll have some page-flipping to do. We hope you found how to print on both sides of this article helpful, and we wish you plenty of success with your two-sided printing ventures.

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