Software optimize

Edit a Word document in Print Preview

Did you know that Word will let you edit a document in Print Preview? Not only can you edit in Print Preview, Word will retain those edits when you return to Normal view.
Print Preview displays a document as it will appear in printed form. It displays formatting, columns, pictures, AutoShapes, and even header and footer text, giving you a complete look at your document. You may have noticed that in Print Preview, the insertion point marker turns into the Magnifier. Clicking with that marker zooms in and out, but you can't edit the document. That's a shame, you think, because it certainly would be helpful if you could edit a document in Print Preview, wouldn't it? The truth is, you can edit a document in Print Preview. How you do so isn't obvious, but it is simple. To edit a document in Print Preview, click the Magnifier icon on the Print Preview toolbar. Doing so disables that tool and the insertion point marker reverts to the I-beam you're use to seeing in Normal view.  Now you can edit away! When you want to zoom, just click Magnifier again. (In Word 2007, uncheck Magnifier in the Preview group on the Print Preview toolbar.) Any edits you make in Print Preview will become part of your document; Word retains those edits when you return to Normal view. Viewing a document in Print Preview is convenient, but editing the document while in Print Preview can be even more convenient. Just remember to click the Magnifier tool to toggle between the Magnifier and the normal insertion point marker.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

34 comments
critilin
critilin

Thanks Susan for the instruction, Work perfectly.

When  my doc was ready on print preview look as a mess, now I can change it in preview, this is amazing...

  thanks again

ayaz.haniffa
ayaz.haniffa

Great tip! thank you. Never realized you could do this.

martin.alvey
martin.alvey

Thanks for the tip - I didn't know you could edit in a print preview.

alrashidusman
alrashidusman

Another knowledge update. Cheers. Keep me in the loop.

akagarwala
akagarwala

Never Thought of that before! Thanks!

phpguy
phpguy

why would you need to ? the zoom feature allows you to edit the page the same way - and you can see all the headers/footers - this would seem to be just a feature left over from previous versions of word. I also think you are incorrect about being able to edit the header/footer in print/preview mode - it does not allow you into the header/footer unless you double click and then you are actually out of print preview mode.

jakay
jakay

One Caution !!!! - Spelling and grammar checking are disable in print view...You better go back to a "normal" view - depending on the version you are using to insure you have not made an embarrassing error!

micjackz@aol.com
micjackz@aol.com

AAAaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.....THAT'S how I accidentally did it once long ago! Thanks! Love these tips.

weirml
weirml

I tried this and found it also works in Office 2003

pat5
pat5

I tried this and couldn't get it to work. The magnifier shows up when I click on the document, however, it is not present when I try to take it to the print view bar. what am I missing

bliggon
bliggon

Thank you! What a great tip; keep them coming.

mlusk
mlusk

This is great for simple edits, but in 2007 you have access to only the Print Preview toolbar/ribbon. If you don't have the formatting feature you need in your Quick Access Toolbar, you can't get to it.

DBlayney
DBlayney

I discovered this a few years ago but never mentioned it to anyone as I assumed it was so obvious that everyone knew already! I find it particularly useful for embedded graphics; the 2- or even 4-page view makes fitting pictures and text together much easier than in page layout view.

tolmr
tolmr

Great tip... however, there is no such equivalent feature in Word 2010.

mithleshkimail
mithleshkimail

Wow.. This tip is brilliant. I was not aware about it.

firstaborean
firstaborean

I've used Word, in one version or another, since 1989, and this is the first I've heard of this means of editing. It has one problem, which I discovered upon reading the blog item, then trying out the idea: If a document has hidden text, one cannot edit that hidden text or unhide it while editing in Print Preview. For a document with hidden text, the best view for editing might be Layout View. It's very close to Print Preview, but it also shows the hidden text.

MarciaAnn
MarciaAnn

this tip is made of awesome!

fholdsclaw
fholdsclaw

Nifty, thanks. Good example of a short, simple, valuable posting.

mjschug
mjschug

Interesting... Nice find! - Thanks for sharing.

erisats
erisats

that's nice, i never thought it was possible...

Mr_Tech
Mr_Tech

In Word 2007, you need to toggle the "Magnifier" check box instead. It is located towards the right of the toolbar but close to the center :) Thought I'd post this :)

whatisnew
whatisnew

Thanks for all the good tips!

pgurney
pgurney

Which version of Office Word are you using? The cursor changes from a magnifier to an arrow when you move off the page/ document. But in order for this tip to work, you have to take it out of magnification mode. To do that, in Office 2007, you uncheck Magnifier on the tool bar. In older versions, you click the magnifier icon on the tool bar. Then when your cursor returns to the document, it should be the I bar and you can edit the document. Hope that helps.

Rande
Rande

I taught MS Word for several years, constantly looking for ways to improve my knowledge. This is one tip I have never seen before and is an excellent example of the minute features that are rarely used. Thank you for posting.

jppackard
jppackard

I too thought it wasn't possible in print preview. I must have jumped back a forth a few times between normal doc and print preview because I didn't think it was possible. Nice post! I love finding these little things.

lmassey
lmassey

It's little things like this, accumulated, that make it easy to perfect a document without having to spend a ton of time. I had not figured this out yet, so my method had been to zoom out until I had the whole page on my screen at once. I think this might be the better option, though, particularly with a document that has more than just text. Thanks!

debposton
debposton

It is the little things in life that make you so excited! This is a great feature and I have found it very useful when making small changes to a document!

lesliee
lesliee

Details make all the difference!

ssharkins
ssharkins

2007 instructions are in the blog. :)

elongp
elongp

Some of our work places block social networking sites, including blogs. Please post the Office 2007 alternate instructions with the tips, like you used to. Again, keep up the good work.