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What is Duplex Printing?

Have you stumbled across the term “duplex printing” while looking through different printer descriptions and wondered what it means? Maybe you’ve read it in the manual for your own printer, and are wondering if it’s a feature that could be beneficial to use. 

Whatever your reason for wondering what duplex printing is, you’re in the right place to find out! Today, we take a look at answering the question “what is duplex printing?”, plus explain a little about why duplex printing is a useful feature.

So, just what is duplex printing? Read on to find out!


What is duplex printing?


Duplex printing simply refers to double-sided printing. If you see that a printer has an auto duplex printing feature, this means that it can automatically print on both sides of a page, without you needing to flip the page manually to allow printing on the other side. If you have a printer without automatic duplex printing, but still wish to print on both sides of a page, you will need to manually turn the page over to complete the print. This manual process is called manual duplex printing. For this article, when we mention duplex printing and printers, we are referring to automatic double-sided printing. 

If you are in the market for a duplex printer, take a look at what we think are some of the best duplex printers on the market.

Brother HL-L2300D Laser Printer with Duplex (2-sided) Printing


Why is duplex printing useful?


There are a few benefits to duplex printing that make it a handy feature to consider when looking for a new printer. These could also be handy to know if you already have a printer with duplex printing, but haven’t tried it out yet. Some of these useful benefits include:


Saving money on paper


Naturally, duplex printing means you’ll be using less paper than when you do single-sided printing of multiple pages. If you’re a frequent printer looking to save money, converting to a duplex printing method could be greatly beneficial. Even if you’re an infrequent printer, changing to duplex printing is a good habit to get into, and should see you buying less paper in the long run. 


Friendly to the environment


Duplex printing uses less paper to print multiple pages than one-sided printing. As such, fewer trees are needed for your printing, which is good news for the environment. This in turn also means less paper that needs to be recycled once you are finished with your prints. We should all be making an effort to save paper and help out the environment, where we can. This means carefully thinking about pages and ensuring we need them before we press print. If you need to print multiple pages, automatic double-sided printing can reduce the amount of paper that is used.


Automatic duplex printing can save time


If you have a busy life (and let’s face it, many of us do), then you might be looking for small ways to save time in your day to day tasks. For those who regularly print pages, having automatic duplex printing can mean time saved manually turning over pages. With manual duplex printing, you’ll need to physically flip the page over to the other side once the first side has been printed on. Because automatic duplexing is just that (automatic) it can mean a sizable amount of time saved for those that regularly complete double-sided printing, manually.


How to use automatic duplex printing


Using automatic duplexing for printers with the feature can be pretty simple. 


For Windows computers


For a Windows machine, simply open your document, click “Print” and then “Print on Both Sides” from the Settings menu. Your document should now be formatted to print on both sides.


For Mac computers


To complete automatic duplexing on a Mac computer, open your document, click “File” then “Print”. A pop-up menu should appear. Select “Preview” from below the “Orientation” section, then click on “Layout” from the dropdown menu. Click on the “Two-Sided” dropdown, and then decide between Long-Edge and Short-Edge binding. Long-edge binding means pages that are set to be bound by the long edges of the paper (left and right for portrait orientation), while short-edge binding is for pages that you wish to bind your pages by the short edges (top and bottom for portrait orientation). Once you have selected this, you can press “Print”. Your document should now be formatted to print on both sides.

Duplex printing can be great for saving money on paper. It can also be a great feature for the environment, as double-sided printing can cut down on the amount of paper you use, and also the amount of paper you end up getting rid of (once you no longer require your printed documents). It can also be time-saving, which is handy for those who feel there just aren’t enough hours in a day! 

If you are in the market for a new printer and think that duplex printing could be for you, check the product specifications of each machine to see if It has the feature. It could be called duplex printing or automatic two-sided printing. 

Hopefully, this article has helped answer the question of “what is duplex printing?”. We have also tried to cover some of the benefits of the feature, and how to set it up for documents on both Windows and Mac. There are many modern printers out there that have automatic two-sided printing, so you should be able to find one that fits your requirements!