Set up a keyboard shortcut to open the legacy Print dialog in Word 2010

December 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

In the previous post, we created a macro to open the old Print dialog — the familiar small one from previous versions, rather than the full-screen “Print Preview and Print” feature introduced in Word 2010 — and then added the macro to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). In this post, we’ll create a keyboard shortcut to launch the old-style Print dialog.

Here are the specific steps for choosing a keyboard shortcut that will open the legacy Print dialog:

1. Click the File tab, then click Options.

2. When the Word Options dialog opens, navigate to the left-most column and click to select the Customize Ribbon category.

3. Below the command box at the left side of the dialog, you’ll see the words “Keyboard shortcuts:” and a button labeled “Customize…” Click the button.

The Customize Keyboard dialog opens.

The Categories box at the left side of the dialog lists all of the permanent and contextual tabs available in Word, as well as “All Commands,” “Macros,” “Fonts,” “Building Blocks,” “Styles,” and “Common Symbols.” Clicking a particular category determines which commands display in the Commands box at the right side of the dialog. For instance, if you click “File Tab,” the Commands box will show only the commands/features that are available from the File tab.

TIP:  Perhaps the most difficult aspect of assigning a keyboard shortcut to a feature is figuring out Microsoft’s command-naming conventions. Command names often bear little resemblance to the way people commonly refer to features. For example, under the Insert category, the command to insert a page break is labeled InsertNewPage – not the seemingly more logical InsertPageBreak. So if you can’t find a command right away, try to think of alternate names for the command. Also, keep in mind that a particular command isn’t always listed under the category where you would expect to find it.

4. For this exercise, we will be looking for a command called FilePrint.

You might think the logical place to look for the FilePrint command would be the File tab. But if you click to select the File Tab category and then scroll through the command list at right, you won’t find it.

5. Instead of choosing File Tab in the Categories box, scroll down and click Commands Not in the Ribbon (or, alternatively, All Commands). Then scroll through the Commands box at right and click to select / highlight FilePrint.

TIP:  When you click a command, a description of the command appears at the lower left side of the Customize Keyboard dialog. There are a number of similarly named commands, so depending on the circumstances, the description can help you to determine if you’ve selected the correct command.[1]

6. Click to position the cursor in the Press new shortcut key box (below the Commands box) and simply press the keys you want to use as your keyboard shortcut for the Print dialog.

I pressed Alt P, which is an easy combination to remember.[2]

7. Check to see whether your preferred keyboard shortcut has been assigned to another feature.  If so, you’ll see the name of that feature to the right of the words “Currently assigned to:” about 2/3 of the way down the left side of the dialog

For instance, if you press Ctrl P, you will see that it has been assigned to PrintPreviewAndPrint.

If you have your heart set on a particular key combination that already has been paired with a different feature (such as Ctrl P), you can override the existing settings and assign the shortcut anyway. Just remember that the shortcut will no longer work to activate the originally assigned feature.

8. To assign your preferred keyboard shortcut, click the “Assignbutton.

9. Click “Close” to close the Customize Keyboard dialog.

10. Be sure to click “OK” to save your settings and close the Word Options dialog.

11. Test by pressing your chosen keyboard shortcut. Assuming you followed the previous steps, the old print dialog should appear.

_________________________________________________________________________

[1]  I’ve tested FilePrint, so I know it is the correct command to open the old Print dialog.

[2]  Some people Alt P to the paragraph symbol. As one possible alternative, you could choose Ctrl Shift P, which is normally assigned to SelectFontSize (i.e., it opens the Font dialog with the font size highlighted). Since Ctrl D also opens the Font dialog, Ctrl Shift P is somewhat redundant — although Ctrl Shift P places the cursor in the Font size box and Ctrl D places the cursor in the Font name box.

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