A reader (Art P.) wrote to say he hasn’t been able to find a way to print just selected pages of a document in Windows 8, as opposed to the entire document. The problem stems from inconsistency in the print options exposed by different apps.
Take this web page for example. If you are viewing it in the modern version of Windows 8 (not the desktop version), you can print with the following steps:
Charms > Devices > [select your printer] > Print
[display the Charms using a swipe from the right edge with touch, or moving the mouse pointer into the upper-right or lower-right corner, or by pressing Win+C (Win+K is a shortcut directly to devices; Ctrl+P goes directly to print in many programs)].
The following screenshot shows the options for my printer; I can’t select pages to print in Internet Explorer and many other modern apps. If I continue, I’ll print 11 pages. Note that you can preview the print job by selecting the > on the right edge of the page preview.
There are two workarounds to this problem:
(1) Print to XPS > Open in Reader > Use Readers’ custom print option
(2) Open the document in a desktop program, most of which support selecting pages
Workaround #1: Using Reader
Windows 8 installs a “printer” called Microsoft XPS Document Writer.
When you select the XPS printer, a file is created automatically in your Documents folder. A notification pops up (the duration of which is controlled in PC Settings > Ease of Access – make notifications stay on screen long enough to be useful). Select the popup notification, if you can. If you are prompted with which app to use, select Reader (XPS Viewer is a desktop program, but OK to use, if you prefer)
If you miss the popup notification or want to print later, open Reader and select the document in Reader.
The app bar in Reader features a Print button, although you can also use the standard technique of Charms > Devices.
Reader’s print options include Pages which defaults to All Pages. Select that option, then select Custom, which in turn reveals a Range option into which you can enter a page number (see the next screenshot).
To print more than one page, enter pages separated by commas, such as “1,4” to print just those pages or print all the pages in a range using a dash, such as “1-4”. Then, select Print.
Although this may seem like a lot of steps, they aren’t difficult. However, we can hope that print options will become more consistent as Windows 8 evolves.
Workaround #2: Using a desktop program
On the desktop, the print dialog box includes an option for selected pages. In the case of Internet Explorer, you can easily open a web page in the desktop version of IE. Starting from the modern version of IE, display the app bar, then select the wrench button, then View on the Desktop.
The web page opens in the desktop version of IE. Select the gear icon to the right of the star (below the x – see a picture really is worth a thousand words), then Print.
I recommend selecting Print Preview next, although you can go directly to Print. If you use Print Preview, select the Printer icon on the preview screen to get to the next dialog box.
In the Print dialog box, select Pages, the enter individual pages separated by commas or a range separated by a dash. Then Print, and you’re done.
Bonus tip: If you just want to print this one blog entry (or another), the desktop version of IE lets you select text first, then go through the Print steps using the Selection option. However, it may be even easier just to select the title of the one blog entry you wish to print to open that entry alone in the browser. Then just print any old way, although this particular entry may be several pages long. (Surprises are one reason I like to preview before printing.)