How to make the most of the 'Print' window

You may well see this fellow every day - especially if you're a regular printer user.

He's a rectangular bundle of fun who's very much around to come to the rescue of those that need to print documents - but have specific requirements for doing so.

We're talking, of course, about that wonderful box of printer tricks, the Print window.

Despite the fact that we're giving the impression there's only one of these helpful critters, it would be more accurate to describe Print windows as a family, with varied brothers and sisters living in different programs.

Today we tackle a Microsoft Word incarnation. We've already dealt with some of the basics of printing in Word in a previous blog. But however you prefer to print your documents in Word, you'll be seeing the friendly Print window before too long.

Taking in his features from the top, the first thing you'll spot is the drop-down menu that lets you choose which printer you want to send your document to.

We've probably lost count of the times that something failed to print because we'd made the obvious mistake of sending it to the wrong printer. So whenever you print in a new environment, it's always advisable to check this little line out before you begin.

If your preferred printer isn't showing up, you can also always try and search it out with the help of the nearby 'Find Printer' button, too.

Most people will be familiar with the 'Copies' section of the Print window, where you can quickly type in how many prints you're after, rather than re-printing several times. 

One of the most useful areas for when things go wrong (among other occasions), meanwhile, is the 'Page range' box. Selecting 'Pages' here is useful for the (hopefully rare) occasions when a page emerges from your printer with an error on it.

Just type in the page you want to print, and you avoid wasting paper by re-printing your entire document.

The 'Properties' button, meanwhile, leads to a whole selection of useful features, that could probably fill a blog on their own!   

On this occasion we'll just highlight one very useful feature. Sometimes, a document you're printing will have colour elements, but, for whatever reason, you want to save the ink in your coloured cartridges. Perhaps you're simply printing a draft copy at this stage.

In this scenario, simply go into 'Properties', open the 'Color' tab and tick 'Print in Grayscale'. 'OK' your choice and you'll have saved your precious coloured ink for another day.

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