The hidden side of printing in Office 2003

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In this article we cover some curiously hidden print functions in Office 2003.

You would think that printing documents was core function of Microsoft Word and such a function would be openly documented with plenty of options.

Well there’s plenty of options but finding them is another matter and therein lies a tale.

In the last two issues of Office for Mere Mortals (part 1 and part 2) we’ve been taking novices (and those of us who like a refresher course) through the main printing options in the Print dialog. Not to much detail but enough to make people aware of the choices available to them.

Those issues unleashed plenty of mail from readers (and we love email from readers) with all sorts of suggestions for additional printing options in the Print Dialogs.

Try as we might, we can’t find any of these documented in the main help files for Office 2003 – even after being updated from Microsoft. They are hiding in the Microsoft Knowledge Base but not in the help files where you would reasonably expect to find them.

In this issue we’ll cover some of these curiously hidden Print features.


We wrote in Office for Mere Mortals that if you wanted to print from a particular page to the end of the document you could enter, say, 50-99, into the Page Range field. As long as the document was under 100 pages Word would print to the end of the document without complaining. If the document was over 100 pages then enter 999 instead.

Turns out I’m showing my vintage from using early versions of Word. These days all you have to do is type 50- and Word will print from page 50 to the end of the document.

Incidentally the reverse also works -50 will print from the start to page 50.



You can print whole sections of a document if you have inserted section breaks, naturally.

  • s7 will print only section 7

  • s5-s7 will print from section 5 to section 7 inclusive

  • s5p4-s5p7 prints section 5 pages 4 to 7 inclusive

  • s5p4-s6p8 prints from section 5 page 4 to section 6 page 8


Office 2003 has booklet printing though it’s hardly obvious. Go to File | Print | Printer Properties and choose ‘Pages per sheet’ scroll right down the bottom and you’ll see Booklet.

Several readers said they used this option to print small drafts of documents to circulate prior to publishing the final document.

This works better if you have a duplex printer because it can print the booklets complete with both sides printed in one hit.


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