Duplex Printing Meaning: Learn How To Print On Both Sides And Save

Today, most semi-professional or small office equipment already has the duplex printing function that automatically prints the front and back of the sheet with no user handling. This is a simple function, but in daily routines, it is little used by professionals and even large departments.

Printing front and back not only reduces paper consumption but also reduces waste generated by unnecessary or conference printing. We recommend using this function for analysis report printing, internal documents, among others. So then let’s move forward to clarify your question what actually duplex printing meaning is?

What is duplex printing?

When sourcing the best office printer, whether it is a multifunction or a photo printer, manufacturers highlight a feature repeatedly. We refer to duplex printing, also known as duplexers. While it is true that it has some advantages when compared directly to conventional printing, this type of printing can also have disadvantages. The following guide shows what these disadvantages are and what is the best way to counteract them.

The duplex printing meaning

Currently, the duplex printing meaning that the users understand differs greatly from what it was before since we initially considered duplex printing as a two-phase printing process. First, the image was printed in shades of gray, and then the colors were added in the second step. In this way, the contrast of printed images is increased.

However, this definition is hardly used in duplex printing. Duplex printing meaning is printing on both sides of a paper. Duplex printing can be done manually or automatically. If you print two-sided manually, he must turn the paper over after the first print and load it correctly so we can print the reverse side.

An automatic printer can carry out this task automatically while inserting the paper in several rolls and printing at the same time on both sides. If you are looking for a printer that supports duplex printing, you should pay attention to the terms “duplex” or “duplexer.” If any of the terms appear, it means that the printer supports duplex printing automatically.

Advantages of duplex printing

From duplex printing meaning we can see that there are some clear advantages of using these two-sided printing systems. Above all, regarding paper savings; It is an unbeatable print option. You can print documents on both sides and save 50% compared to normal printing. This type of printing can be very useful in today’s business sector. However, it is necessary to take into account that the duplex printing system usually entails higher acquisition costs than if we purchased a conventional printer.

Can a duplex printer be profitable in the private sector? This question is difficult to answer. Two-sided printing is useful if the print volume is medium, and if you value comfort to print. If you print two-sided a few times a month, you can also use manual two-sided printing in the private sector. In this case, a duplex system would not be necessary. However, the duplex printer always saves time!

To bind documents, duplex printing is necessary. Especially when designing brochures or small booklets, duplex printing is an indispensable tool. However, in this case, the printer settings must be configured precisely so that the paper does not rotate or slide out.

Disadvantages of duplex printing

Besides the obvious advantages of duplex printing, it also has some other disadvantages. It is important to mention the purchase price, which can be quite high with a high-quality duplex printer.

It is advisable to buy high-quality printers from reputable manufacturers that own two printing units, especially when saving time is an important aspect for users. If two printing units are used, it is possible to print both sides simultaneously. If this mode is not available, it will be necessary to reload the paper and print it twice on both sides. With an inkjet printer, the print times are longer compared to a laser printer, and this is because, in duplex printing, the first page has to dry before printing the reverse.

It eliminates waiting times with a laser printer; however, in this case, too, the paper must be inserted twice into the printing unit. With a second printing unit, it can print both sides at the same time, which in turn greatly increases acquisition costs.

Can I print photos with a duplex printer?

duplex printing

Duplex printers are often used for simple texts, but a high-quality duplex printer can also be used to design brochures. But what happens when we want to print high-quality photographs on both sides? Although two-sided photographic printing is theoretically possible, most devices on the market do not offer borderless printing. Experience shows, however, that photographers often print high-quality photographs without borders so they have a better effect. This is not possible with a duplex printer.

Manual and automatic duplex printing

As already mentioned, manufacturers offer the option of manual and automatic duplex printing. With automatic duplex printing, all you have to do is select the corresponding option in the printer menu, and it will print all documents in the desired format.

However, there are differences in manual duplex printing, as experience shows. For example, older printers that do not have a duplex feature and the latest models that actively support manual duplex printing. If it is not compatible, the user must find out how to insert the paper in the tray so that the document is printed correctly on both sides. The manufacturer offers no help in this case.

However, if the printer supports manual duplex printing, there may be instructions on the printer or the printer driver on how to load paper. Paper compartments usually have a mark that shows how to align the paper. The paper tray must also be inserted correctly so that the printer only has to print. When printing manually, generally, more errors occur than when duplex printing is performed automatically. Manual printing requires more time and practice before duplex printing documents without printing errors. However, using all this time, especially in the office, where rapid processing is required, can be a problem.

Feature summary of duplex printing

  • Manual duplex printing is suitable for small print volumes
  • Automatic duplex printing is ideal for medium or high print volumes
  • In the office, we always recommend an automatic duplex printing system
  • Duplex photo printing is only possible with borders

Particularities of the duplex printing system

Manufacturers offer duplex printers in various versions, colors and shapes. In general, users have to pay close attention to technical data when making the purchase. Those who use duplex printing the office they can even order models they classify and fold after printing. This saves much more time, which also implies higher acquisition costs. However, usually, a duplex printer is always recommended in the office. This type of printers can also be useful in private homes if used for professional purposes. Otherwise, most users will have a manual duplex printer or a manual duplex printer. In this case, the printer will not support duplex printing alone.

Duplex Printing: Learn how to print on both sides and save

At the beginning of this article, we have learned with the duplex printing, meaning that there are printers that offer the option of two-sided printing. Duplex using both sides of the paper, called automatic duplex printing, while others provide instructions for the user to do this by manually reinserting the pages to the second side sheet called manual duplex printing. There are also those printers that do not support two-sided printing. To find out if your printer allows this type of printing, saving paper, or doing a perfect job, you need to consult the setup.

In addition, some types of files require the user to change the setting to get the perfect print job, such as Adobe Reader. When you print Adobe Reader files to simpler printers, you often need to change the settings as well.

Here’s how to do this, as two-sided printing is a way to save paper and help the environment. Also, if you do a good job, printing will look like a book, which will make some file formats easier to read. Keep up!

How to Tell if Your Printer Prints Duplex

To find out if your printer supports duplex printing or duplex printing, you must check the manual or enter the manufacturer’s website. If you don’t have the manual, there is another way: just do one of the following.

  • In the file you want to print, click the File tab;
  • Then click on Print;
  • In the Settings option, click Print on a Side. If you happen to find Print on Both Sides as well, it automatically sets your printer to two-sided printing.

But beware: if you happen to be printing on a multifunction printer that also supports duplex copying, it may also support automatic duplex printing.

If you are working on a network and have over one printer installed, it is quite possible that one printer supports duplex printing, and the other does not. In this case, you must select the printer first, making it the default.

How to set up a printer for duplex printing

If you have a printer that does not support two-sided printing, you have two options to achieve this result: You can use Manual printing, or you can print even and odd pages separately.

How to print on duplex printers manually?

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When the printer does not support two-sided printing, you must print all pages that must be on one side of the paper, and after the system prompts you, turn over the stack of paper in the tray and insert the pages into the printer again.

If you are printing files in Word, you must follow these steps:

  • Click on the File tab and then click on Print;
  • Under Settings, click Print on One Side, and then click Manually Print on Both Sides.

After you have printed the sheets on one side of the paper in the right order, Word will prompt you to turn over the stack and insert the pages into the printer again.

If this is the procedure, and you are unsure how to turn the stack of paper over, do a single-sheet test first to verify the correct way to reload the pages in the printer you are using to avoid making mistakes such as, one page turns out correctly and the other page upside down, or even prints again on the same side of the paper, over what is already printed.

How to print odd and even pages

You can also choose another procedure for two-sided printing:

  • Click the File tab and then Print;
  • Under Settings, click Print All Pages, and at the bottom of the Options window, click Print Odd Pages Only ;
  • Click the Print button again after choosing the option.

After it prints all odd pages, reverse the page stack and put it back in the printer’s feed tray. Go to Settings, click Print All Pages, and at the bottom of the gallery, click Print Even Pages Only.

Return to the Print button at the top of the gallery and click again.

To ensure that all pages are printed in the correct order, when printing odd and even pages, click File> Options> Advanced> Print.

You will find Print on Front for two-sided printing or Print on Back for the same form of printing.

How to print on both sides with the help of Adobe Reader

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In Adobe Reader, access print settings. To do this, simply press Ctrl + P or click File menu> Print.

Open your print settings and in the options window, expand the More Options item by selecting Odd Pages Only and then checking Revert Pages.

Once this is done, click Print

When everything is printed, reverse the print order and print only the even pages. To do this, put the sheets back in the printer’s feed tray for printing on the backside.

Be careful that printing is not upside down (follow the same advice as before: if you do not know how to reverse the paper, test using only one sheet ).

Now just go back to print settings and select Even Pages Only.

Ready. This will help you take advantage of both sides of a sheet of paper, even on a simple printer that has no advanced setting for two-sided printing.


Make sure your printer has the feature and start using it, and you can also set the printing preference to use duplex, and if you need documents that cannot be duplex, just disable in print properties. See the Brother video below for how to use the duplex function that is similar to other manufacturers’ equipment.

As we have seen, even if the printer does not print on both sides, there are ways to achieve this function. However, if you use this type of printing a lot, replace your printer with a new one. The savings for this type of printing are visible and in the long run, bring an excellent return on both reduced paper usage and increased site sustainability.

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