How To Print Double Sided On Mac – Beginners Ultimate Guide

More than often, you will find yourself in need of double-sided documents. Maybe you want to save on printing paper, or you just don’t want to spend extra minutes at the printer. Whatever your reason, you will be pleased to know that it is possible, and more importantly, easier than you may think.

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To double-side print (also known as duplex printing) simply means printing a document on both sides of the paper such that each side acts as a separate page. This printing method is mostly used in books, manuscripts, and manuals. You can double print using apps such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, and PDF. The duplex printing feature is compatible with all versions of Mac OSX.

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But to print double-sided documents, there are a few things you need to have – a duplex-capable printer, which is often a laser printer or any other printer running on similar hardware, and a document that is at least two pages long.

Ready to learn how to perform duplex printing on Mac? Let’s dive in!

How to Print Double-Sided on Mac

How to Print Double-Sided on Mac

Provided your Mac is connected to a duplex-printing printer, two-sided printing should be a fairly straightforward process. Here is how you can print double-sided on Mac:

  • 1
    First, open the document to be printed on your Mac using your preferred application. This can be Pages, Microsoft Word, PDF in Safari, or anything similar.
  • 2
    With your document open and ready, open the “File” menu and select “Print”.
  • 3
    From the “Layout” section, select the “Two-sided” option.
  • 4
    A list of options will appear. From this menu, you can choose between “Long-Edge” and “Short-Edge” binding, according to your preferences. Normally, the default setting here is always set to “None” or “Off”, especially if you haven’t used this feature before.
  • 5
    Adjust any other options to suit your preferences and hit the “Print” button. Check the printer to ensure that your print job is working and connected properly.

If your printer has a problem (or can’t connect for some reason), reset the whole print system from your Mac. Quite often, this resolves most of the printer hiccups associated with the Mac OS software. Also, keep in mind that most printers come with their own drivers, so keep the driver software updated for optimal performance.

Having configured and enabled your duplex printer, you can make future print jobs even easier by creating a Desktop shortcut (as long as the files are compatible). Since you won’t necessarily have to open the file origin application (Word, PDF, and such), you will save a lot of time in the long run.

How to Create Alternate Presets?

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Chances are, you will not be duplex printing all the time. To toggle between single-sided and duplex printing, you might want to configure a preset for each type of printing to make everything easier.

To configure a preset, follow these steps:

  • 1
    Find the “File” menu and select “Print”.
  • 2
    A drop-down menu will appear with a “Layout” option. Select this option to proceed.
  • 3
    After selecting your preferred layout option, click on the “Two-Sided” button and then select the “Long-Edge binding” option.
  • 4
    You will find a Presets menu at the top of the page. Go to “Save As” and type in the name you would like to assign the Preset. For easy accessibility, you can simply assign it the name, “Double Sided”.

To create the preset custom for single-sided printing, follow steps 1 and 2 above, but instead of choosing the “Two Side” option in step 3, select the “Off” option. Save the preset as “Single Side Print”.

Whenever you need double-sided printouts, all you will have to do is select the “Double Sided” custom from the Preset menu. This selection will remain until you change it to a different preset. Whenever you need to print single-sided, simply select “Single sided” from the presets menu and hit “Print”.

I Don’t Have a Duplex Capable Printer. Can I Double-Side Print?

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If you are not seeing the option for two-sided printing, your printer may not be compatible with double-sided printing. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot use it for duplex printing.

If your printer can’t double print automatically, you will have to do it manually. This means printing on one side of the paper like you usually do, and then flipping the paper over and printing on the other side. You will have to repeat this process for all the pages.

For instance, if you have to print four pages of your document, you will need two papers – paper A and paper B. To duplex print, you will have to print page 1 on one side of paper A, flip it over, and print page 2 on the other side. The same will apply for pages 3 and 4 on paper B.

Tedious as it may sounds, this is the only way to double-side print using a printer that cannot double print automatically. Alternatively, you can purchase a duplex-printing capable printer, which you can choose from the suggestions below.

6 Best Duplex Capable Printers

Duplex Capable Printers

Here are some of the best double-sided printers:

The Canon MX922 tops the list of suggested duplex printers for one good reason. It comes with a wireless LAN feature, making it compatible with Chromebook and Mac. It features Google Cloud Print as well as Direct Print via Wi-Fi and Air Print. In addition to these wireless capabilities, it is also compatible with a USB 2.0 interface.


A fully integrated double-sided printer, the Canon MX922 can process up to 35 sheets at a time automatically.

.If you only use your printer for home applications, you can’t go wrong with the Brother MFC9330. This mid-performance printer has printing speeds of up to 23 ppm for both mono and colored documents. 


Printing resolution is important in color printers, and the Brother doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a printing resolution of up to 600 x 2400 dpi. With this printer, you can share scanned documents via Picasa, email, Facebook, and other online platforms. It also has a mobile printing feature via Google Cloud Print, Wi-Fi, and Air Print.

This is an all-in-one printer – it can copy, scan, print wirelessly, and of course, perform duplex printing. It has touchscreen capabilities, which makes printing effortless. Moreover, it comes with highly efficient security features to protect important documents from unauthorized access.


It can handle a wide variety of heavy-duty printing even on energy saving mode. However, you might want to set it to high performance if you want to print faster.The HP LaserJet Pro is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7. It can also work with Macs on OSX v10.4.11 to v10.6.x.

The Canon PIXMA TR7520 was designed to handle all kinds of tasks including scanning, printing, and faxing. It makes great use of its individual cartridges to deliver high-quality printouts. You can perform all your printing tasks on the go thanks to its multiple wireless connectivities – Air Print, Google Cloud, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi direct.


The 3.0” LCD touchscreen makes toggling between tasks easy, while the automatic sheet feeder makes bulk printing faster – it can handle up to 20 sheets at a time. When it comes to compatibility, the Canon PIXMA doesn’t disappoint. Not only can you use it with Windows Vista, 7 and XP, but also Macs from OS X v10.4.11 to v10.6.

The Canon MF731 is all about speed and efficiency. With this printer, you can hit printing speeds of up to 28 ppm – a printout takes less than nine seconds. You can print your documents on the go thanks to the printer’s long-range wireless connectivity. It can also print documents and images from USB-JPEG, PDF, TIFF, and other similar applications.


In addition to its duplex printing capability, the Canon F731CDW has an expandable paper capacity of up to 850 sheets. It also comes with a high-capacity toner option to suit all your printing needs and keep toner replacement interruptions at a minimum.

This is a good printer for occasional home double-page printing and scanning. It is well-designed, simple, and has a high-volume capacity. It can print up to 10 pages in a minute.

It also comes with wireless connectivity, scanning capabilities, and ink subscription services. Like most modern printers, you can send a fax using the OfficeJet 5255.

Even better, this printer is more affordable than others on the list.

Double-Sided Printing is as Easy as A-B-C

Double-Sided Printing

Now that you know how to perform duplex printing on Mac, you can print more efficiently and save on printing paper.

However, you should keep in mind that the steps may vary depending on the type of printer you are using. Therefore, if your double-side printer is not working properly, it simply means that you have to make some adjustments to it. Check your printer’s manual for further guidelines.

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