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Something that just blew my mind. Yesterday I discovered that from the 2013 Word web app that users can't print to an actual printer, they can only print to pdf. This includes pdfs opened in the word app -- how recursive.

This page about 2010 suggest that a PDF plugin is required, but it seems that is can print.

Word Web App prints a document as it appears in Reading view. To print a document, click the File tab, and then click Print.

But in 2013 that feature seems to be replaced with print to pdf.

Oddly the Excel web app allows you to print to a printer.

All my searches talk up how awesome it is that it prints to PDF and then you can open that and print it. But users really don't like that intermediate step. It is really an awful UX.

Does anybody know if there is a way to enable actual printing in Word Web app? Are there any other work-arounds?

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  • Do they have local/network printers installed? I can see my local printer as an option when I print from Word Online in O365. Jan 6 '16 at 17:53
  • Yes we all have the ability to print from the regular desktop word app and or any other application. We have on-prem which is evidently different than O365?
    – Rothrock
    Jan 6 '16 at 18:14
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Word Web App has no direct option to print to a printer, only print to PDF. This true for on-prem and Office Online. The best user experience seems to be using Chrome with SharePoint Online, where Chrome will automatically open the standard Chrome print dialog box. It does not work on-prem, though.

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  • So not the answer I wanted. But sadly what I figured. I just can't believe MS sent that UX out.
    – Rothrock
    Jan 6 '16 at 22:56
  • While it doesn't address the on-premises question, I was curious and tried opening a Word document from SPO via Word Online in IE11 and after showing me a print preview, a new dialog automatically appeared where I could select my local printer and print. Thought I'd share...
    – Erik Perez
    Jan 7 '16 at 6:14

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