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Printing pages doesn't have to be so difficult

A computer user prepares to print pages one through three from within Microsoft Word. The print range, marked for illustrative purposes, could contain multiple page ranges and even non-consecutive pages, like 1, 4, 5 and 10. But this feature can be found in more than just word processors. Most email programs, web browsers, e-book readers and document viewers, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, also have this feature. Graphics and video editing software, in contrast, rarely ever do.

Sun Advocate/Emery County Progress

Sometimes it's the simple things that make life sweet. And during other times it's the small and simple things that make life a little sour.

Printing, in particular, can cause a lot of frustration, especially because it's one of the most common things people do with computers.

But printing is easier than it's ever been. Computer makers and software developers have made great strides towards making the process as painless as possible.

In fact, most programs have a print icon prominently placed near the top of the screen to make the printing process simple.

These icons, often found in nearly the same place, make changing print orientation (portrait vs landscape), increasing print copies, or adjusting print quality fairly straight forward.

But what about more unconventional tasks like printing selected page ranges from an email, e-book or PDF?

Most people would rather print only the most needed pages instead of printing the entire document, which is often extremely expensive and certainly takes a long time.

Many simply browse to each needed page and print only the current page. That certainly does the job, and it prevents the need to print the entire document. But it can certainly be time consuming as well.

Thankfully, there is a way to print only the needed pages all at once, without printing them one by one.

Suppose someone has opened a large 120 page PDF document and needs to print pages 1 through 5, page 24, and pages 63 through 70.

From the program, select the print menu option from the file menu. Once the print window appears, locate the options that dictate which pages are printed.

Usually there are three options: "All", "Current" and "Pages." The latter option usually has a box to the right of it where a value can be typed.

In, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader and a number of other applications, this feature is, in fact, labeled "Pages" and is usually in an area of the screen dubbed "print range."

Most people know that they can type a page into that box (24, for example) and the computer will send only that page to the printer. But few realize that this box can instruct the computer to print a range of pages or even a series of non-consecutive pages.

If someone was trying to print only the pages that were mentioned earlier, they'd type "1-5,24,63-70" in that box - without the quotations, of course. The dashes define print ranges and can interpreted as "everything in between" the two numbers. The comma helps define non-consecutive pages and can be thought of as an "and" to glue everything together.

Unfortunately, not every Windows program uses the same printing features, or even the same printing screens. This means that not every program will allow the printing of pages in this way.

This feature generally cannot be found, for example, in graphics, audio and video editors, as the feature isn't conducive to those types of programs.

But for those programs that do, it's a very useful feature.

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