I have a 50 page document that needs to be printed double sided, to conserve resources, but I was careless and printed it single sided. Is there anyway to print the back side and create two documents on an inkjet printer?

  • Put the paper back in the printer in the opposite direction (in case of a laser normally face up) and print the second document. – davidgo Apr 26 '17 at 20:45
  • @davidgo I am using inkjet. My printer prints on the bottom of the page as it is pulled from the stack. Perhaps that is why our solutions are different. – Eric Laoshi Apr 26 '17 at 22:01
  1. Make sure that nobody else is printing while you do the following.
  2. You might want to do a “dry-run” of the below, with, for example, a four- or six-page document.
  3. If you don’t already know (for sure), do a test run to determine how the direction and orientation of the paper in the paper tray corresponds to how and where the page image is printed.  For example, write “UL”, “UR”, “LL” and “LR” into the corners of a blank sheet (or a reasonably clean, flat sheet that you were going to throw away anyhow), make sure you remember how you put it into the tray, and then print a single page.  (Obviously, you don’t need all of “UL”, “UR”, “LL” and “LR”; any one will do.)
  4. Shuffle your single-sided pages so they are in the order 2, 1, 4, 3, 6, 5, …, and put them into the paper tray in the correct orientation so the printer will print on their backs, with the top and bottom at the appropriate edges.
  5. Print the document again.  At the risk of stating the obvious, do not print double-sided.

After pondering it for a while, and drawing some pictures, I realized the answer is "yes". The way to do it is to re-stack the pages printed side up. In other words, the bottom sheet is page 1. Then put one extra sheet on top, make sure it is still set to single-sided and print again. The result will be two copies of the same document interleaved in the stack. So the next step is to separated the pages in to two documents by taking two sheets off the stack at a time. The top sheet goes to the right and the bottom sheet goes to the left.

The result will be two documents. One document will be identical to original, but the other will have different pairs of pages facing each other. So if your doc depends having certain pages facing each other, then this really isn't a solution

Just to be sure, I verified this theory with a 5 page document. The result was as predicted.

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