Peruse your printing options in Microsoft Word 2011

If you use Microsoft Word, you're no doubt aware that the program doesn't have a standard Mac OS X print dialog window. That sad fact can sometimes leave you feeling a bit lost. Here are a some pointers for printing with Microsoft Word 2011 and an explanation of its major dialog box contents.

The Mac's standard OS X print dialog always keeps basic information visible (after you click the arrow that expands the dialog box to its full size). Microsoft Word does not always expose basic information, and Word's print dialog changes depending on the choice you select from the untitled pulldown menu located below the Printer and Presets menus in the window.

The Copies & Pages selection in Word most closely mirrors the basic information you get from the OS X print dialog—a preview of the document you’re printing, the number of copies, collation options, and the range of pages.

The Copies & Pages menu is used for managing the number of copies you want to print, but also offers options for changing the page setup, printing the current page, and a useful Page Range option that lets you select the pages that you want to print. Using this feature you can type 1, 3, 5, 11-17 and Word will print only the pages you specified. The Page Setup button lets you make quick changes to the scale, paper size, and print orientation of your document.

This is the standard print dialog box in Microsoft Word. Consult the pulldown menus to customize the output.

But the pulldown menu under the Microsoft Word choice changes the options you see and the printing choices you have, offering several items specific to the program. So, if you select Document properties from the menu, you can print a document that includes the file name and save location, the template used for the document, author information, word count, creation and modification dates, and so forth.

If you used Word's Track Changes feature to edit a manuscript, selecting the List of markup choice will let you print a list of the changes made to the document. This list organizes the information logically into specific areas including the body of the document, header and footer, footnote, endnote, and text box. You can also print lists of all the styles used in the document, and any auto text entries that are in use by the document's default template.

Note that in order to see the information from any choice in this dialog, you must select the item from the menu and then print the document. There is no on-screen preview of this information.

Use the Microsoft Word setting to to print information about your document.

The final menu item, called Summary, lets you view a summary of all the information available about the current print job before you print it.

This summary menu lets you see all the parameters you set in previous menus in a single window.

While different than the standard Mac OS X print dialog, Microsoft Word's print dialog lets you print a lot of information that lies underneath the surface of the text you've typed. Even though much of this information isn't necessary for your day-to-day printing needs, it's nice to know that by using Word's unique print dialog you can get to and print this information when you need it.

[Jeffery Battersby is an Apple Certified Trainer, (very) smalltime actor, and regular contributor to Macworld. He writes about Macs and more at his blog,]

At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Full parity with Word for Windows
    • The return of VBA
    • Much better, redesigned UI that matches the Windows UI
    • Document formatting is much easier


    • Likely to be much more than most non-business users need
    • Does not track changes made to images added to documents
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