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How to print a section of a Word document

There's no obvious way to print the sections of a Word document, but you can still do it! Susan Harkins reveals the secret.

Word's print feature offers a lot of flexibility, but there's one trick that you might not know about. If you know a section's number, you can print that section. The key is to combine the section number with the character s in the form ssectionnumber.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to determine a section's number. Right-click the status bar and check Section, and Word will display the Section indicator in the status bar. That's the number you'll use when printing. (Word 2003's status bar displays this indicator by default.)

Once the Section indicator is enabled, position the insertion point in the section you want to print to update the indicator accordingly. Then, use that number in your print string as follows:

  1. Click the File tab and click Print in the left pane. In Word 2003, choose Print from the File menu.
  2. Choose Print Custom Range from the first setting's dropdown. In Word 2003, you don't have to choose anything; you'll enter the section code in the Pages option in the Print Range section.
  3. Then, preface the section name with the s character. For instance, to print section two, enter s2.
  4. Then, click Print. In Word 2003, click OK.

You can combine this section-printing code with page numbers. Just remember to separate the page numbers with comma characters. For example, to print page 1, section 2, and pages 10 through 12, you'd use the following string: 1, s2, 10-12.

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.

21 comments
tplcol316
tplcol316

Susan, this is helpful. How about turning your expertise on what MS did with the 2007 version of Outlook? It really irritates me that they removed the "selection" option from the Print dialog box. Thus far, I'm forced to copy/paste into Word, then print what I want. Thanks!

psauve
psauve

I agree, I do beleive it's correct to write section's in this case! (As in the "section's pages".)

murcorp
murcorp

the page and section numbers can be combined in the print pages field, as in 3s5, which would result in printing page 3 of section 5.

bdoserr
bdoserr

Why in the world did you add an apostrophe to the word "sections" in the first paragraph? It's a plural (no apostrophe) rather than a possessive (as in the second paragraph) which does get an apostrophe.

sunillai
sunillai

other easiest way to select the font colour white for remaining portion i.e. which you dont want to print

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Never noticed there were sections. A random check shows only 1 section in my documents. Not sure what I would use them for or why. The way I print specific areas of a document is by highlighting the part I want to print and choose selection in the "Print" dialog. Or by page numbers.

ssharkins
ssharkins

By selection, do you mean the highlighted portion of an email message?

mlusk
mlusk

In Word 2010, on the "Print Preview and Print" page, if you move your mouse pointer over the little information icon (next to the Pages field) a ToolTip informs you how to print specific ranges of your document. For example: p1s3-p8s3 would print pages 1-8 of section 3. This identification of ranges has been available in Word for many years.

NPetersen
NPetersen

Maybe I'm missing something, but the first paragraph's "section's" is also possessive. Ah, I see! The possessive is used incorrectly in the "Takeaway" heading. Susan might not have even written that. It's not part of the article and it refers to her in the third person. Authors sometimes do that, but we could give her the benefit of the doubt; especially since she correctly used the possessive in the first two paragraphs.

info
info

I hail thee, o God, for not making any mistake nor typo in life. Get a life.

simonh
simonh

She probably used Word's grammar check?

ssharkins
ssharkins

You insert sections as you would a page break. Then, you can apply specific formatting and layout styles to just the section. It's good for long documents with lots of special formatting requirements.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I'm sure I wrote it, and it's now fixed. I'm always glad to fix a typo. I don't understand the ire they generate, but would rather know about them than not.

dhays
dhays

You get a life! It is incumbent on professional writers to use correct spelling/grammar/words. To not do so shows a lack of concern for what is written or their education level. If they cannot express themselves with correctly written words, why should we believe anything they say? I am surprised by how many of the writers on this site do not proofread their works, words added or left out when they changed the direction of thought, and did not see the words left in or out. I don't have a specific example at present, but there are many. Not usually with Susan's articles. The commenters are another case altogether, they use bad gammar, spelling and language. She may not have written the "Takeaway", but some one did, and made an error. It should have been caught in proofreading (if such is done). There is a whole website dedicated to the proper useage of appostophes. The Appostrophe Protection Society: http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/examples.htm Mistakes I make are usually found and corrected. Some problems could be as a result of editing changes by an editor not paying attention to the flow of thought.

kprince
kprince

'Eats shoots and leaves' is a description of a Panda whereas 'eats, shoots and leaves' is a description of a shooting preceded by a meal and followed by the shooter's departure. That's why grammar is important because it changes meaning and that's why you should give a flying fig.

GinnyS
GinnyS

You misspelled "grammar". Just thought you'd like to know...

ssharkins
ssharkins

This is a frequent conversation among some of my colleagues -- language changes. Language is about communicating. Some rules are necessary but communicating is the goal. It's similar to good etiquette; if we let a rule stand in the way of the experience, why bother? Do ladies still wear gloves at tea parties? Enforce the rules that help; the rules that don't will slowly die. The split infinitive, mentioned above is a good example. Even SAT doesn't evaluate them as incorrect anymore. There are no trick questions on split infinitives anymore! ;) In fact, writing around a split infinitive often muddies the message. It's a rule that deserves to die. There are many such rules. They'll slowly fade, we'll adjust... and no, we won't end up sounding like the isolated desert orphans from Mad Maxx. It's a fun discussion though and many disagree with me, which is fine.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Split infinitives have gone the way of the dinosaur -- even SAT doesn't count off for them anymore.

simonh
simonh

As long as the message is understood who gives a flying fig how the message is constructed? By being a grammar fascist you are potentially missing out on the information being conveyed in the first place. There's also a strong possibility you may be ignoring important words of wisdom simply because they may not pass intense examination for correct grammar. Your observations and criticisms would be valid if this were a site dedicated to grammatical perfection. I would certainly be interested in what you have to say in such a context. But here, I'm sorry to say, you just end up looking a bit foolish. It's the content that's important - just try and remember that.

skinch
skinch

"To not do so..." That is a split infinitive and should be "Not to do so".

radar_z
radar_z

I presume that when you take away the apostrophe, it is incumbent upon you to spell the word "apostrophe" with a double "p" instead of one. I did not learn this grammar rule in English which too many people spell "english". I think blog comments are written in a hurry to express an idea quickly like twitter or texting with little regard to case, apostrophes or spelling. I don't like this degradation in our language either. Think of the subjunctive "If I were..." versus current usage "If I was..." Even novels no longer have the proper form.

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