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Word: Edit in Print Preview mode

April 5, 2008

Did you know that you can edit a Word document while you’re in Print Preview mode?

Why would you want to do this in Print Preview mode? Maybe you have a very long document and you want to remove excess page breaks, or you notice a typo while you’re doing a final scan of the document to see how it will print. When you click Close from Print Preview mode, you get taken back to the beginning of the document and so you have to scroll lots of pages to find that page break to remove or that typo to fix.

When I showed this little trick to some people while I was at the Peer Showcase session at the WritersUA Conference, I was surprised that none of them knew you could do this and they were all impressed that you can. So here’s how.

  1. Make sure you are in Print Preview mode:
    * Word 2003: Click Print Preview button - Word 2003 on the main toolbar.
    * Word 2007: Click the large Microsoft Office button in the top left corner, select Print > Print Review.
  2. Disable the default zoom function for the Magnifier:
    * Word 2003: Click the Magnifier button Magnifier button - Word 2003 on the print preview toolbar to disable its default zoom function.
    * Word 2007: Clear the Magnifier check box in the Preview command group.
  3. You can now edit the Word document.

Don’t ask me WHY the Magnifier toggles from zoom to edit modes – it just does.

NOTE: This function is not readily available in Word 2010, 2013 etc. If you want it, you’ll have to add the icon to your Quick Access Toolbar or Ribbon. See this Microsoft Knowledge Base article for details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/980515.

[Link last checked July 2013]

10 comments

  1. […] used to do it a page at a time in Print Preview mode, manually removing the AllowPageBreak style’s 1pt marker. But that can take about 15 minutes […]


  2. I started editing in Print Preview mode by accident, and couldn’t figure out how to do it after exiting Print Preview. Thanks for the wonderful tip!


  3. […] or headings that are orphaned from their following text. I’ve usually done this by using the Print Preview settings in Word and changing the view to, say, eight pages at a […]


  4. […] preview seems to have lost the ability for you to edit on the fly. This was a well-hidden little feature, but one I used quite often. If someone knows how to edit in Print Preview mode in Word 2010, do […]


  5. ‘To … use the Print Preview Edit Mode feature …, use one of the following methods”:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/980515


  6. And wouldn’t it be good if you could still do it in Word 2010?!


  7. Hi Helen

    If you follow the link in the comment by Paulsaute (December 4, 2012), you can add a button for this to the Quick Access Toolbar or the ribbon.

    –Rhonda


  8. I’ve been doing this for years so I know how to do it. It is no longer working. Have Word 2003. There must be a setting off but I can’t figure out what it is. Driving me crazy…..


  9. by troiade
    There must be a setting off but I can’t figure out what it is. Driving me crazy…..

    * Word 2003: Click the Magnifier button on the print preview toolbar to disable its default zoom function.

    the Magnifier button toggles edit/no edit



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