Print on both sides of a sheet of paper (duplex)

Several of the publication types that you create in Publisher — including brochures, postcards, and newsletters — are double-sided publications. When you're ready to produce these types of publications, you need to be able to print the text and pictures on both sides of the paper.

This topic explains the following:

 Note   For information about how to set up a complicated multiple page publication — such as a folded booklet — for duplex printing, see Create a folded booklet or newsletter in Publisher.

How duplex printing for double-sided publications works

Before you print a double-sided publication, it helps if you understand how these publications are set up in Publisher. Let's take a postcard as an example.

Front and back of postcard

A postcard has a front side, where most of the information goes, and a back side for the mailing and return addresses. Even though these are two sides of the same printed sheet, Publisher displays them as two separate pages. If your printer supports duplex printing, however, and if you choose the duplex option when you print, the main message will be printed on one side of a single sheet and the addresses will be printed on the other side.

Find out whether your printer supports duplex printing

The easiest way to produce double-sided publications is to print them on a printer that supports duplex printing. You can usually find out whether your printer supports duplex printing either by looking at the information that came with the printer or by looking at the printer's properties.

To look at the properties for your printer:

  1. On the File menu, click Print.
  2. In the Print dialog box, in the Name list, select the printer that you want to use.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, look for information that indicates whether and how your printer supports duplex printing.

 Note   The information in the Properties dialog box varies depending upon the manufacturer of the printer you're using. With some printers, you will see a Layout tab with a Print on both sides option on it. With other printers, you might see a Features tab, and the duplex option might be called something like Two-sided printing. Explore the various tabs in the Properties dialog box until you locate the duplex printing option.

 Note   If your printer does not support duplex printing, you can still produce double-sided publications. It just takes a little more effort on your part.

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What do you want to do?

I want to print a publication on a printer that supports duplex printing

I want to print a publication on a printer that does not support duplex printing

Print a publication on a printer that supports duplex printing

Many printers support duplex printing, but they don't all make the duplex option available in the same way. With some desktop printers, choosing duplex means that the printer prints all of the copies of the first side of a page, then pauses and asks you to flip the sheets that it just printed and return them to the printer, after which it prints all of the copies of the second side. This method is called manual duplexing.

To print on both sides of a sheet of paper:

  1. On the File menu, click Print.
  2. In the Print dialog box, in the Name list, select the printer that you want to use.
  3. Click Properties.

 Note   The information in the Properties dialog box varies depending upon the manufacturer of the printer you're using. With some printers, you will see a Layout tab with a Print on both sides option on it. With other printers, you might see a Features tab, and the duplex option might be called something like Two-sided printing. Explore the various tabs in the Properties dialog box until you locate the duplex printing option.

  1. Choose the duplex printing option that you want.

The options will be called something like Long edge (or Flip on long edge) and Short edge (or Flip on short edge). Whether it's better for the paper to be flipped on the short edge or the long edge depends upon the type of publication you're printing. You might need to print a test publication or two to discover which option works best.

  1. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box, and then click OK again to close the Print dialog box and print your publication.

Print a publication on a printer that does not support duplex printing

Even if your printer does not support duplex printing, you can still produce a double-sided publication. For example, you can:

  • Print each page separately, and then copy the pages on a copier that supports double-sided copying.
  • Display the side of the publication that you want to print first. In the Print dialog box, under Print Range, click Current page. When the print run of the first side is complete, flip the sheets over and reinsert them into the printer, and then print the other side.

 Note   If your printer does not support duplex printing, and if you're using mail merge to merge address or other information into your publication, then you must create two separate Publisher files, one for each side of the publication, before you print. For more information, see the links in the See Also section, which appears if you are connected to the Internet.

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Applies to:
Publisher 2003