HOWTO: Set Duplex Printing for Word Automation

This article was previously published under Q230743
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Microsoft Word for Windows does not provide a method for Automation clients to set the duplex print flag before starting a print job. Although there is a parameter in the PrintOut method that indicates support for duplex printing, the parameter does not provide true duplex printing and may not be available depending on your operating system or installed language. However, developers can work around this limitation on Windows systems bychanging the duplex flag for the active printer driver before calling Word's PrintOut function.

This article demonstrates how to use the Windows API to change the duplex setting of the active printer and allow a Word document to be printed in duplex.
This 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 will need adequate permissions to change the global print settings for the printer. If a user does not have the proper permission to change driver settings, they will get an Access Denied error on the OpenPrinter API call.

For users of Microsoft Windows NT and Microsoft Windows 2000 who need to print to a shared network printer, this can be a problem because the print driver does not reside on the local machine but on the print server. Although it is possible for an administrator to configure the print server to give end users the proper permission to change global settings, it is NOT desirable to do so in most cases. To work around this problem, it is possible to install a local print driver for the network printer, and let each user control the settings for their local systems.

Steps to Add Local Print Driver for Network Printer on Windows NT and Windows 2000

  1. One the Start menu, select Settings, then select Printers and double-click Add Printer to bring up the Add Printer wizard.
  2. When prompted, select printer from "My Computer" and NOT from the network. Although you will connect to a network printer, you want to use a driver on My Computer. Press Next to continue.
  3. Click on "Add Port."
  4. Select Local Port in the drop-down list box and then click New Port.
  5. Type the location of the printer on the network. For example:
        \\printserver\printername (using the exact path name to the printer)					
  6. Select OK and continue with the rest of the setup.
Changing the printer properties for the active printer will affect all applications that use that printer, and not just Word. If you plan on changing the setting for a particular print job, make sure you restore the setting when the job is complete.

Steps to Build the Sample

  1. Open Visual Basic and create a new project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a standard BAS module to the project and add the following code to the module's code window:
       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_ADMINISTER = &H4   Public Const PRINTER_ACCESS_USE = &H8   Public Const STANDARD_RIGHTS_REQUIRED = &HF0000   Public Const PRINTER_ALL_ACCESS = (STANDARD_RIGHTS_REQUIRED Or _             PRINTER_ACCESS_ADMINISTER Or PRINTER_ACCESS_USE)   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 printer   '  driver's default properties.   '   '  Returns: True on success, False on error. (An error will also   '  display a message box. This is done for informational value   '  only. You should 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."         Else            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)), _        DM_IN_BUFFER Or DM_OUT_BUFFER)      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)   cleanup:      If (hPrinter <> 0) Then Call ClosePrinter(hPrinter)   End Function					
  3. On Form1, add a standard Command Button.
  4. Add the following code 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      oDoc.Range.Select            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      oDoc.Close      Set oDoc = Nothing         oWord.Quit      Set oWord = Nothing   End Sub					
  5. Run the sample. If you have a printer that supports duplex printing, the test document should print on both sides of the page.
For more information on problems you might see while trying to print Word documents using a duplex printer, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

176189 WD97: Shading of Solid Black or Gray Won't Print Duplex on NT

196857 WD97: First Page Prints on Back of Last Page with Duplex

214683 WD97: Duplex Printing Does Not Duplex with Objects on Page

Article ID: 230743 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 14:24:23 - Revision: 2.3

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, Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition, Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbapi kbautomation kbhowto kbprint KB230743