How Can I Print Double-Sided on My Mac?

Hey everyone, I’m having trouble figuring out how to print double-sided documents on my Mac. I have a big project due soon, and I need to save paper. My printer supports duplex printing, but I can’t seem to find the right settings. Can anyone guide me through the process? Thanks!

Hey there!

I get it, printing double-sided on a Mac can feel like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded. But don’t worry—Uncle [Your Name]'s got your back! Here’s a little step-by-step to save that precious paper:

  1. Open Your Document: Whatever you’re printing, open it up in Preview, Microsoft Word, or any app you’re using.

  2. Hit Print: Go to File → Print (or just Command + P if you’re feeling fancy).

  3. Unleash the Secret Settings: In the print dialog box that comes up, look for a little drop-down menu that might say “Copies & Pages” or something equally vague. Click that bad boy.

  4. Find the Holy Grail: From the dropdown, select “Layout.” Here’s where the magic happens. You should see an option for “Two-Sided.” Select “Long-Edge binding” (this is your usual double-sided print).

  5. Preview and Print: Hit “Print” and cross your fingers!

If you still don’t see the option, go into System Preferences → Printers & Scanners, select your printer, and then go to Options and Supplies to make sure the Duplex Printing Unit is enabled. Sometimes it’s hiding!

Hope this helps—crush that project!

Hey everyone,

I saw your question about printing double-sided documents on a Mac, and I get how stressful that can be, especially when you’re in a pinch with a big project looming. So, let’s break it down step-by-step. I’ll try to cover different methods and a few tips along the way. Here we go!

Method 1: Using the Standard Print Dialog

First, let’s go with the standard print dialog, which is the most straightforward way.

  1. Open Your Document: Whether it’s in Pages, Microsoft Word, Preview, or another app, open the file you want to print.
  2. Access the Print Dialog: Press Command + P or go to File > Print in the top menu bar.
  3. Select Your Printer: Make sure your printer is selected in the Printer dropdown menu.
  4. Expand Print Options: You might see a simple print dialog at first. Look for a button that says Show Details (or something similar) and click it to expand the full set of options.
  5. Find the Two-Sided Option: Somewhere in this expanded view, you’ll see an option for Two-Sided or Duplex Printing. This could be under the Layout or Finishing tab depending on your printer model.
  6. Select Long-Edge Binding: Generally, documents are printed with long-edge binding, meaning they flip like a book. Short-edge binding flips them like a notepad.
  7. Click Print: Once you’ve selected your settings, hit Print.

Method 2: Using Advanced Printer Settings

Sometimes the standard print dialog doesn’t offer the flexibility you need, especially with non-common printer brands or older printers. Here’s another way:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, then select System Preferences.
  2. Go to Printers & Scanners: Click on Printers & Scanners to see a list of your available printers.
  3. Select Your Printer: Choose your printer from the list on the left side.
  4. Open Print Queue: Click on Open Print Queue... and then click on Printer Setup.
  5. Access Printer Features: Look for a tab or button that says Options & Supplies, then Driver or Options. Here you’ll find more specific printer settings, including duplex printing options.
  6. Enable Duplex Printing: Sometimes duplex printing is not enabled by default, so you need to turn it on from here. Save your settings.
  7. Go Back to Print Dialog: Now, print your document again through the print dialog (Command + P or File > Print) and look for the Two-Sided option. It should be enabled now.

Method 3: PDF Workaround

If for some reason you still can’t get it to print double-sided using the above methods, there’s a bit of a workaround using PDF:

  1. Save as PDF: Open your document, then go to File > Print. In the print dialog, look for a button that says PDF at the bottom-left corner. Click it and select Save as PDF.
  2. Open the PDF: Find the saved PDF (it’s usually on your desktop or in the chosen location) and open it using Preview.
  3. Print from Preview: In Preview, go to File > Print. Expand the print options by clicking Show Details if needed.
  4. Select Two-Sided Printing: Look for the Two-Sided option and select it. Print as usual.

Method 4: Using Third-Party Apps

There are some third-party apps that can give you more control over your printing settings. One of these is Printer Pro by Readdle. This isn’t free, but it might be worth it if you do a lot of printing and want more fine-tuned control.

  1. Download Printer Pro: Get it from the Mac App Store or Readdle’s website.
  2. Add Your Printer: Open the app and follow the setup instructions to add your printer.
  3. Print Your Document: Drag your file into the app or use the Command + P shortcut in your document and select Printer Pro as your printer.
  4. Choose Printing Options: The app will give you a range of options, including duplex printing. Choose what you need and hit print.

Tips and Troubleshooting

  • Check Printer Compatibility: Make sure your printer actually supports double-sided printing. Most newer models do, but older ones might not.
  • Update Printer Drivers: Sometimes, outdated drivers can cause options to disappear. Go to your printer’s manufacturer website and download the latest drivers.
  • Manual Duplex Printing: If your printer doesn’t support automatic duplex printing, you can do it manually. Print all the odd pages first, then flip the stack and print the even pages. Make sure to choose the right orientation to avoid upside-down pages.
  • Printer Settings: Sometimes restarting your printer or your Mac can magically make the options appear. Also, ensure your printer firmware is up to date.


  • Why can’t I see the Two-Sided option?
    This might be because duplex printing isn’t enabled in your printer settings or your printer doesn’t support it. Check the printer settings in System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.

  • Can I control the margins when printing double-sided?
    Yes, most text editors like Word or Pages allow you to customize the margins under their Page Setup options before printing.

  • What if my printer keeps jamming when printing double-sided?
    This could be an issue with the paper type or printer rollers. Try using a different paper type or consult your printer’s manual for maintenance tips.

I hope this helps you get that project printed out efficiently! Double-sided printing is a great way to save paper and make your documents a bit more professional-looking. If anyone else has additional tips or other methods, feel free to jump in!

Good luck with your project!