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Darth Gerbil
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Office 201x printing behavior - print a range of pages

Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:53 pm

Hopefully this saves someone else the same frustration. Confirmed behavior with Office 2013 and 2016, using a Brother laser printer.

I have a series of Word documents with page numbers set up as a field in the footer. Each document continues a larger work, so subsequent files have the page number field customized to start from a number other than "1." As an illustration, suppose A.docx is a four-page document with pages numbered as 1-4, and B.docx is another four-page document with pages numbered as 5-8, using the custom field properties to force the first page to start at 5 rather than 1.

Here's where it gets fun: open B.docx, print a custom range of pages, and select, say, 1-2 -- meaning, you want to print the first two pages of the document. Makes sense, as Word is telling you in the lower left corner that you have a four-page document open and are currently viewing page "n" of 4. Click "Print" and Word dutifully completes the task by sending a print request for Absolutely Nothing to the print queue. The Print Queue icon even appears in the system tray, but the queue is empty. Multiple attempts, same result. And then you will add and remove the printer, try the exact same task and page number range with a PDF distiller (it works fine), try other types of printing tasks, flounder about Google for 15 minutes...and finally discover that Word will only send a valid print job to the physical printer if you change the page range to "5-6" because that is what they are numbered in the footers. But it won't actually tell you that.

Don't know if that was an Office error, a Windows print spool error, or an issue with my Brother printer drivers. I'm guessing the printer driver wasn't playing nice with the short-form print dialogue that newer versions of Office now use. But in any case, that's what it took to make it work again.
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Re: Office 201x printing behavior - print a range of pages

Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:07 am

Wow...that is good to know. I've been using Office products for over two decades and never would've thought it worked that way. I mean, it makes complete sense, but I would've done the exact same thing you did in trying to print pages 1-2 of a four page document. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Office 201x printing behavior - print a range of pages

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:24 pm

Okay, I am pleasantly amused by this.
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