Office challenge: Why doesn't reverse print work?

This week, test your Word printing skills when Word's reverse printing option doesn't seem to work.

Most users know that you can reverse the print order in a Word document, printing the last page first through to the first page last. Doing so allows the printer to stack a document in ready-to-go order. In other words, the document is properly collated. Word has a setting that lets you do this on request, but it isn't part of the Print options. To reverse printing, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab and select Options under Help in the left pane. In Word 2007, click the Office button and then click Word Options.
  2. Choose Advanced in the left pane.
  3. In the Print section, check Print Pages in Reverse order.
  4. Click OK.

In Word 2003, choose Options from the Tools menu, and click the Print tab. In the Printing Options, check Reverse Print Order, and click OK.

Now, let's suppose a user calls because Word isn't printing in reverse order. After walking the user through the above steps, he assures you that the option is checked.

What's wrong?


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.

Too-Tired Techie
Too-Tired Techie

If the printer output is face down then the document should print in the correct order without requiring Reverse printing. Reverse printing would produce an out of order document. If output is face up then reverse printing should produce a correctly ordered document. I know of very few enterprise class printers that still print face up.


I always set my printer driver to reverse print. That way no matter what I print from - Office, browser, PDF reader - it always prints reversed. With that in mind I wonder if the user has reverse printing set in the driver and also in Word, would that cause the resulting print job to appear as though reverse print didn't work? Barry

dan man
dan man

This never worked for me until I read this little helpful guide! Thanks for the great information!! I sometimes find that searching for Email Help is one of the best way to get these issues fixed :)

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