Duplex Printing: What It is and How To Do?

The term “Duplex Printing” isn’t a very popular or a very common concept, especially not to people not associated with the printing business.

Actually, not a very large population in this world is aware of what “duplex printing” is, why it is done, or how it is done. If you have somehow come across the word or if you are new to the world of printing, you can learn all about this unique concept in this article. 

As of the year 2020, “Duplex Printing ” is a relatively new term in the world of printing, and in the industry of printer technology. There aren’t many of these new printing machines that are being used at the moment in the world, but everyone related to the printing world has welcomed the use of “duplex printing” machines and are looking forward to its more versatile uses. 

This article is all about “Duplex printing” and the printers that allow “Duplex Printing”. You’ll find information related to every aspect of “Duplex Printing” here, so if you are looking for something in general or something specific, you’ll find it all here. 

What is “Duplex Printing”? 

In the most simple words, “duplex printing” means to be able to print on both sides of a paper. A “duplex printing” machine is one that allows simultaneous printing on both sides of a paper, saving time, effort and of course, paper. 

Regular printers, which can only print on one side of the paper, are the ones we commonly call “inkjet printers” or “laser printers”. Collectively, all these kinds of printers can also be called “Simplex Printers”, where you need to manually flip the paper for it to be printed on the other side.

Regular printers can only print on one side of a piece of paper without any kind of manual interference, but “duplex printers” can print on both sides of a piece of paper, without having to operate any part of the process manually. 

This is the main difference between a “Simplex printer” and a “Duplex Printer”, and the basis of functionality behind a “Duplex printing” machine. 

How Does “Duplex Printing” Machines Work?  

Duplex Printing machines have a special functionality built into it that can automatically facilitate printing on both sides of a piece of paper without having to do anything about it. This functionality is not present in regular printers which can only print on one side of a paper, thus known as “Simplex Printers”. 

Duplex printers are equipped with a special unit – a duplexing unit – that can automatically flip over a piece of paper after the machine has finished printing on one side. The paper doesn’t have to be manually flipped over after one side has been printed on; the machine can automatically get the flipping done, and instantly start printing on the other side of the paper

There are separate printing machines that have this duplex printing functionality, and they are different from regular printers. You can connect these special printers to your computer or laptop just like you’d connect a regular laser or inkjet printer.

When you want to use the “Duplex Printing” functionality, you need to select the option to “use both sides of the page” in the dialogue box that comes up on your computer when you want to print a document.

Only if you have a duplex printer connected to your computer, this special dialogue box is going to pop up, which is going to give you the option of using both sides of your paper. This option isn’t going to appear if you have a regular Simple Printer connected. 

When you choose this particular option, your computer is going to command your printer to start printing on both sides of the paper. Click on your printer to start, and it will.

As per the specialty of “Duplex Printing” machines, the machine itself will flip each piece of paper when one side is done printing, and print on the other side. There will be no need to stop operation after each side of the paper has been printed to manually flip the paper. 

The process is extremely simple with most “Duplex Printers”. Once one side of a piece of paper has been printed on, it will come out of the machine, but also, instantly, feed itself back inside the machine.

The duplex functionality inside the machine will then flip the page over and continue printing on the other side, thus automatically using both sides of the paper. The paper you end up at the end will have been printed on both sides. 

How to Use a “Duplex Printing” Machine? 

There is a simple way to recognize a duplex printing machine without having to read through the features or looking at the features list. Any printing machine that has the duplex functionality will have the letter “D” at the end of its name.

If you see a “D” at the end of the model number of any particular printer, you can be sure that it has a duplex functionality and that you can use it to print on both sides of the paper without manual interference. 

Connecting your printer to your laptop is also easy, and takes the usual steps recommended for a regular printer. However, when your printer has the duplex functionality, you have the option to choose the “duplex functionality” that will allow your printer to print on both sides of the paper automatically or the “regular printing” function that only allows printing on one side.

You can choose between these two options either from the printer settings on your computer, or the menu screen on the actual printer. However, it all depends on the model and brand of the printer you will be using at the moment. 

Why is “Duplex Printing” Important? 

When it first came into existence, duplex printing machines were only used by small and medium companies who didn’t want to waste their employee’s time and efforts by having to flip through every single piece of paper that went into print.

In other places, offices wanted to reduce their cost of paper by printing on both sides of it; instead of hiring someone to do the flipping or to spend productive hours of an employee, they used the “Duplex functionality” available on these printers to automatically print on both sides of paper. 

These days, the concept of “Duplex Printers” is celebrated worldwide because:

  1. They reduce the use and wastage of paper;
  2. They save money due to less usage of paper; 
  3. They save trees from being cut down; 
  4. They save time and effort of employees; and 
  5. They produce files and folders that are less heavy. 

Printing on one side of the paper, without manual interference to flip the paper, means using more paper, as only one side of the paper is going to be printed on. This requires double the amount of paper needed, which directly leads to cutting down more trees to produce paper.

Besides,  a folder where the paper has only been printed on one side will be bulkier than if they were printed on both sides. 


Duplex printing, therefore, happens to be more eco-friendly, and increase productivity. These printers should be used not just because they save paper, time and effort, but also because they are directly working to reduce the number of trees being cut down every day to make paper.

Duplex printing machines aren’t just better for mankind and humanity, but also for our office environment and employee productivity. 

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