The Layman's Guide on How to Print on Both Sides of a Paper

How to Print on Both Sides of a Paper
Printing on both sides of a paper, or in other words 'duplex printing', is very easy once you get a hang of it. Here's a Techspirited guide explaining the procedure to successfully print on both sides of paper. Take a look!
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Automatic Duplexing
High volume printers, unlike regular home or office printers, have a dual print motor. This enables them to print both sides of a paper automatically (without the need to manually flip the paper).
It's always good to print back-to-back; duplex printing saves paper as well as maintains the flow of the content. For example, if you are printing a journal, and you only print on the front side of all pages, leaving the hind side blank. This would use almost 50 percent more paper, but would also obstruct reading with so many blank pages to skip.

Duplex printing comes handy when the material being printed is vast, like a book, or journal, or a research paper. Printing a few pages may not necessarily require double-sided printing (depends on the user's preferences). Almost all modern printers have a 'duplex printing' or 'print on both sides' feature.

In case you aren't aware about duplex printing and wish to carry out double-sided printing, here are some steps you could use to achieve this task quite easily.
How to Print Double-sided on Windows
Printing paper
When printing through most applications in Windows, a standard print dialog box pops up. Take a look at the instructions to enable duplex printing, or manually print double-sided, by using this dialog box.

Step 1: Check if your printer supports automatic duplex printing

➤ Begin by opening the print dialog box. You can do this by using a keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P, or you can navigate to the file tab in the menu bar and click on print.

➤ A print dialog box will pop up. In the printer section, select the name of the printer you wish to use. Then, click on properties, and navigate to the finishing (or finish in some printers) tab in the resulting window. If you see an option saying Print on both sides or 2-sided printing, your printer supports automatic duplex printing.

➤ In this case, you simply need to give a few flipping instructions which mostly include, short-edge, or long-edge flipping. Some even have a booklet option which does the needful, in case you're printing a booklet. That's it! Once you have duplex printing enabled, you simply have to place the paper in the print tray, and click OK.

Step 2: Printing manually in the absence of automatic duplex printing

➤ In case your printer doesn't support automatic duplexing, you can achieve this manually. Open the print dialog box. Select the desired printer, and look for an option saying Print: All pages in range.

➤ This option is located at the bottom-left of the window. Once you locate it, click on the drop-down box. This box contains three options, the first one being All pages in range as mentioned above, the second should be Odd pages, and the third should be Even pages. Select odd pages.

➤ Now click OK, and all the odd pages in the document will be printed. Now, flip the pile either lengthwise or width-wise (as per your needs). Open the print dialog box, and choose even pages instead of odd in the previously mentioned drop-down. Now click OK, and lo! Your task of double-sided printing is completed successfully.
How to Print Double-sided on Mac
Office laser printer
Double-sided printing is possible on Mac as well. However, you'll have to begin by checking whether your printer supports automatic duplex printing. In case it doesn't, you can always resort to the manual method.

Step 1: Check if your printer supports automatic duplex printing

➤ To check if the printer connected to your Mac supports duplex printing, go to Print and Scan under System Preferences. Then, select Options & Supplies for the said printer. In the resulting window, you should see the option Duplex Unit checked, in order to confirm that your printer supports automatic duplex printing. If it is not checked, you can follow the manual method below.

Step 2: Printing manually in the absence of automatic duplex printing

➤ For manual duplex printing, open the print dialog box. You can achieve this by using a keyboard shortcut Command + P. Alternatively, you can also select the print option from the file tab.

➤ In the print dialog box, navigate to the Paper Handling menu. This can be found in the drop-down located just below the Orientation option. In this menu, look for the Pages to Print option. In the corresponding drop-down box, choose Odd Only. Choose any more printing preferences as per your needs, and click Print.

➤ Once all the odd pages have been printed, flip the printed stack. Repeat the same procedure once again, but this time choose the Even Only option from the drop-down. Done!
Duplex Printing in Word 2010/13
Printing paper in printer
We have dedicated a complete section of this article to Word 2010, because it features its own print menu, unlike previous versions of Word.

Step 1: Check if your printer supports automatic duplex printing

➤ Open the file tab, and click on print. Under print settings, look for a drop-down saying Print One Sided. Next, click on this drop-down, and check if the option Print on Both Sides is available. If it is available, your printer does support automatic duplex printing.

Step 2: Printing manually in the absence of automatic duplex printing

➤ Open the file tab, and go to print. Check for Print All Pages drop-down box in the settings menu. Once located, click on it and choose the option,Only Print Odd Pages. Then, click print once you're done with choosing your printing preferences. All the odd-numbered pages will be printed.

➤ Now, flip the bunch of printed pages, and repeat the same procedure. However, this time choose the Only Print Even Pages option. This way you can easily perform duplex printing using Word 2010 or 2013.
Duplex Printing in OpenOffice
Printer with page
Although the print dialog box of OpenOffice is a bit raw, as compared to Microsoft Word, it can be thoughtfully utilized for the purpose of duplex printing.

Step 1: Check if your printer supports automatic duplex printing

➤ To check this, you need to go to Printer Settings... under the file tab. In the resulting window, select the printer from the drop-down, and click on properties. Once in properties, navigate to the finishing tab. If you see an option saying Print on Both Sides in the Document Options pane, your printer does support automatic duplex printing.

Step 2: Printing manually in the absence of automatic duplex printing

➤ In case you see the option Print on Both Sides Manually, check it. Checking this option will automatically print all the odd-numbered pages first, prompt you to flip the printed pile, and then print all the even-numbered pages.

➤ However, if you don't find the aforementioned option, you can begin with the manual method. In the print dialog box (Ctrl + P), enlist all odd page numbers of your document in the Pages box. Unfortunately, OpenOffice doesn't provide a direct option for printing odd and even pages. Therefore, you might find this job a bit cumbersome.

➤ Once done, click on print. All odd-numbered pages will be printed. Then, enlist all even page numbers in the print dialog box, and click print. This is how you can easily achieve back-to-back printing using OpenOffice as well.
Many printers also offer manual duplex printing; however, in this case the printer prompts to flip every single page which, being very tedious, isn't a very efficient way to print double-sided.

Also, if you wish to print a web page from Google chrome, or a document on Google Docs, choose the option that says Print Using System Dialog, and follow the steps given above (under Windows or Mac).