Most of us work in a single document and print it when we're done, or as needed. If you want to print several Word documents, you might open one, print it, close it, open the next, print it, and so on, which is time-consuming and fortunately, unnecessary. Using Windows Explorer, you can quickly send several articles to the printer at one time.
To print one or more Word documents, without even opening Word, do the following:
- Right-click the Start menu (in the Windows task bar) to launch Windows Explorer.
- Open the folder that contains the documents you want to print.
- If the files are contiguous (consecutive), hold down the [Shift] key and click the first and last files in the block. Doing so will select the clicked files and all the files in between. If the files aren't contiguous, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click each file you want to print.
- Right-click any selected file and choose Print from the resulting context menu. Your system will print all of the selected documents, in the order you selected them, using default print and printer settings.
Don't try to print a document using this method if the document's already open in Word. It confuses Word, which displays a dialog box prompting you to reopen the file. It won't print the open document or any of the remaining documents until you deal with that dialog box, which you might not even see—you might not realize what's wrong.
This works with most Office files, not just Word. A lot depends on your default settings, so you won't always get what expect with other file types.
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.