How to set duplex printing for Microsoft Word Automation clients

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Microsoft Word Automation clients cannot set the duplex print flag before a print job starts in Microsoft Office Word 2003 or in Microsoft Office Word 2007. Although a parameter in the PrintOut method indicates that there is support for duplex printing, the parameter does not provide true duplex printing. Also, this parameter may not be available to you, based on your operating system or on your installed language. However, to work around this limitation on Microsoft Windows systems, you must change the duplex flag for the active printer driver before the PrintOut function is called in Word.

This article describes how to use the Microsoft Windows API to change the duplex setting of the active printer to permit a Word document to print in duplex.


Add a local print driver for a network printer in Microsoft Windows 2000

The print driver does not reside on the local computer. The print driver resides on the print server. For Microsoft Windows 2000 users who must print to a shared network printer, this may be a problem. Although a security administrator can configure the print server to permit end users to change global settings, Microsoft does not typically recommend this action. To work around this problem, you can install a local print driver for the network printer. Then, you can let each of your users control the settings for their local systems. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Settings, click Printers, and then double-click Add Printer.

    The Add Printer Wizard starts.

    Click Next.
  2. Click Local printer, and then click Next.
  3. Click Create a new port, and then click Local Port in the Port Type section.
  4. In the Port Name box, type the location of the printer on the network.

    For example, type \\printserver\printername.

    Note Use the exact path name to the printer.
  5. Click Next, and then select a Windows 2000 driver for your printer.
  6. Click Next, and then follow the instructions to finish the wizard.

Build the sample

If you change the printer properties for the active printer, all the applications that use the active printer are affected, not just Word. If you must change the settings for a particular print job, restore the settings when the print job is complete.

The following code uses the DocumentProperties API to change the print settings of the printer driver to enable duplex printing. For this code to work successfully, the end user must have the correct permissions to change the global print settings for the printer. If the end user does not have the correct permissions to change the driver settings, the end user receives an "Access Denied" error message on the OpenPrinter API call.
  1. Start Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0. Create a new project.

    By default, Form1 is created.
  2. Add a standard .bas module to the project. Add the following code example to the code window of the module.
    Option Explicit
       Public Type PRINTER_DEFAULTS
           pDatatype As Long
           pDevmode As Long
           DesiredAccess As Long
       End Type
       Public Type PRINTER_INFO_2
           pServerName As Long
           pPrinterName As Long
           pShareName As Long
           pPortName As Long
           pDriverName As Long
           pComment As Long
           pLocation As Long
           pDevmode As Long       ' Pointer to DEVMODE
           pSepFile As Long
           pPrintProcessor As Long
           pDatatype As Long
           pParameters As Long
           pSecurityDescriptor As Long  ' Pointer to SECURITY_DESCRIPTOR
           Attributes As Long
           Priority As Long
           DefaultPriority As Long
           StartTime As Long
           UntilTime As Long
           Status As Long
           cJobs As Long
           AveragePPM As Long
       End Type
       Public Type DEVMODE
           dmDeviceName As String * 32
           dmSpecVersion As Integer
           dmDriverVersion As Integer
           dmSize As Integer
           dmDriverExtra As Integer
           dmFields As Long
           dmOrientation As Integer
           dmPaperSize As Integer
           dmPaperLength As Integer
           dmPaperWidth As Integer
           dmScale As Integer
           dmCopies As Integer
           dmDefaultSource As Integer
           dmPrintQuality As Integer
           dmColor As Integer
           dmDuplex As Integer
           dmYResolution As Integer
           dmTTOption As Integer
           dmCollate As Integer
           dmFormName As String * 32
           dmUnusedPadding As Integer
           dmBitsPerPel As Integer
           dmPelsWidth As Long
           dmPelsHeight As Long
           dmDisplayFlags As Long
           dmDisplayFrequency As Long
           dmICMMethod As Long
           dmICMIntent As Long
           dmMediaType As Long
           dmDitherType As Long
           dmReserved1 As Long
           dmReserved2 As Long
       End Type
       Public Const DM_DUPLEX = &H1000&
       Public Const DM_IN_BUFFER = 8
       Public Const DM_OUT_BUFFER = 2
       Public Const PRINTER_ACCESS_USE = &H8
       Public Const STANDARD_RIGHTS_REQUIRED = &HF0000
       Public Declare Function ClosePrinter Lib "winspool.drv" _
        (ByVal hPrinter As Long) As Long
       Public Declare Function DocumentProperties Lib "winspool.drv" _
         Alias "DocumentPropertiesA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, _
         ByVal hPrinter As Long, ByVal pDeviceName As String, _
         ByVal pDevModeOutput As Long, ByVal pDevModeInput As Long, _
         ByVal fMode As Long) As Long
       Public Declare Function GetPrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias _
         "GetPrinterA" (ByVal hPrinter As Long, ByVal Level As Long, _
         pPrinter As Byte, ByVal cbBuf As Long, pcbNeeded As Long) As Long
       Public Declare Function OpenPrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias _
         "OpenPrinterA" (ByVal pPrinterName As String, phPrinter As Long, _
         pDefault As PRINTER_DEFAULTS) As Long
       Public Declare Function SetPrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias _
         "SetPrinterA" (ByVal hPrinter As Long, ByVal Level As Long, _
         pPrinter As Byte, ByVal Command As Long) As Long
       Public Declare Sub CopyMemory Lib "kernel32" Alias "RtlMoveMemory" _
        (pDest As Any, pSource As Any, ByVal cbLength As Long)
       ' ==================================================================
       ' SetPrinterDuplex.
       '  Programmatically set the Duplex flag for the specified default properties
       '  of the printer driver.
       '  Returns: True on success and False on error. An error also
       '  displays a message box. This message box is displayed for information
       '  only. You must modify the code to support better error
       '  handling in your production application.
       '  Parameters:
       '    sPrinterName - The name of the printer to be used.
       '    nDuplexSetting - One of the following standard settings:
       '       1 = None
       '       2 = Duplex on long edge (book)
       '       3 = Duplex on short edge (legal)
       ' ==================================================================
       Public Function SetPrinterDuplex(ByVal sPrinterName As String, _
       ByVal nDuplexSetting As Long) As Boolean
          Dim hPrinter As Long
          Dim pd As PRINTER_DEFAULTS
          Dim pinfo As PRINTER_INFO_2
          Dim dm As DEVMODE
          Dim yDevModeData() As Byte
          Dim yPInfoMemory() As Byte
          Dim nBytesNeeded As Long
          Dim nRet As Long, nJunk As Long
          On Error GoTo cleanup
          If (nDuplexSetting < 1) Or (nDuplexSetting > 3) Then
             MsgBox "Error: dwDuplexSetting is incorrect."
             Exit Function
          End If
          pd.DesiredAccess = PRINTER_ALL_ACCESS
          nRet = OpenPrinter(sPrinterName, hPrinter, pd)
          If (nRet = 0) Or (hPrinter = 0) Then
             If Err.LastDllError = 5 Then
                MsgBox "Access denied -- See the article for more info."
                MsgBox "Cannot open the printer specified " & _
                  "(make sure the printer name is correct)."
             End If
             Exit Function
          End If
          nRet = DocumentProperties(0, hPrinter, sPrinterName, 0, 0, 0)
          If (nRet < 0) Then
             MsgBox "Cannot get the size of the DEVMODE structure."
             GoTo cleanup
          End If
          ReDim yDevModeData(nRet + 100) As Byte
          nRet = DocumentProperties(0, hPrinter, sPrinterName, _
                      VarPtr(yDevModeData(0)), 0, DM_OUT_BUFFER)
          If (nRet < 0) Then
             MsgBox "Cannot get the DEVMODE structure."
             GoTo cleanup
          End If
          Call CopyMemory(dm, yDevModeData(0), Len(dm))
          If Not CBool(dm.dmFields And DM_DUPLEX) Then
            MsgBox "You cannot modify the duplex flag for this printer " & _
                   "because it does not support duplex or the driver " & _
                   "does not support setting it from the Windows API."
             GoTo cleanup
          End If
          dm.dmDuplex = nDuplexSetting
          Call CopyMemory(yDevModeData(0), dm, Len(dm))
          nRet = DocumentProperties(0, hPrinter, sPrinterName, _
            VarPtr(yDevModeData(0)), VarPtr(yDevModeData(0)), _
          If (nRet < 0) Then
            MsgBox "Unable to set duplex setting to this printer."
            GoTo cleanup
          End If
          Call GetPrinter(hPrinter, 2, 0, 0, nBytesNeeded)
          If (nBytesNeeded = 0) Then GoTo cleanup
          ReDim yPInfoMemory(nBytesNeeded + 100) As Byte
          nRet = GetPrinter(hPrinter, 2, yPInfoMemory(0), nBytesNeeded, nJunk)
          If (nRet = 0) Then
             MsgBox "Unable to get shared printer settings."
             GoTo cleanup
          End If
          Call CopyMemory(pinfo, yPInfoMemory(0), Len(pinfo))
          pinfo.pDevmode = VarPtr(yDevModeData(0))
          pinfo.pSecurityDescriptor = 0
          Call CopyMemory(yPInfoMemory(0), pinfo, Len(pinfo))
          nRet = SetPrinter(hPrinter, 2, yPInfoMemory(0), 0)
          If (nRet = 0) Then
             MsgBox "Unable to set shared printer settings."
          End If
          SetPrinterDuplex = CBool(nRet)
          If (hPrinter <> 0) Then Call ClosePrinter(hPrinter)
       End Function
  3. Add a standard Command Button control to Form1.
  4. Add the following code example to the code window for Form1.
       Option Explicit
       Private Sub Command1_Click()
          Dim oWord As Object
          Dim oDoc As Object
          Set oWord = CreateObject("Word.application")
          oWord.Visible = True
          Set oDoc = oWord.Documents.Add
          oWord.Selection.TypeText "This is on page 1" & vbCr
          oWord.Selection.InsertBreak 1
          oWord.Selection.TypeText "This is page 2"
          SetPrinterDuplex Printer.DeviceName, 2
          oDoc.PrintOut Background:=False
          SetPrinterDuplex Printer.DeviceName, 1
          MsgBox "Print Done", vbMsgBoxSetForeground
          oDoc.Saved = True
          Set oDoc = Nothing
          Set oWord = Nothing
       End Sub	
  5. Run the sample.

    If your printer supports duplex printing, the test document prints on both sides of the page.


For more information about problems that may occur while you try to print Word documents by using a duplex printer, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
176189 Shading of solid black or gray won't print duplex on NT
196857 First page prints on back of last page with duplex
214683 Duplex printing does not work with objects on page


Article ID: 828638 - Last Review: May 14, 2007 - Revision: 4.2
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Enterprise Edition for Windows 6.0
kbhowtomaster kbapi kbautomation kbhowto kbprint KB828638

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