fixed : Two-sided printing in MS Word for Mac

Question :

I usually work in Apple’s Pages.app to do my text editing, but now someone sent me a school document that was made in MS Word. It opens just fine in Word for Mac, but when I want to print, I can’t find the “Two-sided printing” option…

How can I do Two-sided printing in Word for Mac ?

Answer :

As always, the solution is simple, you just have to know where to look and what to look for…

…anyway, here’s how-to do this in Word 16 (2021) :

Note : in older versions it is similar, but sometimes slightly different (just one of those things to know is that “Two-sided printing” is called “Duplex printing” on Windows and therefore also in older versions of MS Office for Mac…)

  • open the document in Word for Mac
  • press the [CMD] + [P] key combo on your keyboard to open the Print window ( or goto Word > File > Print )
  • click on “Copies & Pages” and choose “Layout” from the pulldown menu
  • in the Layout settings view, see that “Two-Sided” is listed, with the option to choose “Long Edge Binding” (for portrait mode documents) and “Short Edge Binding” (for landscape mode documents)
  • > note that if “Two-Sided” is not listed here, your printer doesn’t have the option to print two-sided automatically, and you will have to do the two-sided printing manually [see below]

That’s it !

If your printer can’t do two-sided printing automatically, you can do this to get two-sided printing manually :

  • open the document in Word for Mac
  • press the [CMD] + [P] key combo on your keyboard to open the Print window ( or goto Word > File > Print )
  • click on “Copies & Pages” and choose “Microsoft Word” from the pulldown menu
  • in the Microsoft Word settings view, set “Print:” to “Even pages only”
  • then go back to “Copies & Pages” and at “Pages:” set both “From:” and “To:” to 1 and click the Print button
  • when your print is ready, draw a huge arrow on the back of the printed page pointing upward like the text on the front side
  • then put the page in the printer’s feeder drawer and make sure the arrow you have drawn on it is on the upside and pointing into the printer drawer and close the printer drawer
  • then click on “Copies & Pages” and choose “Microsoft Word” from the pulldown menu
  • in the Microsoft Word settings view, set “Print:” to “Even pages only”
  • then go back to “Copies & Pages” and at “Pages:” set both “From:” and “To:” to 1 and click the Print button
  • now look at the printed page that comes out and figure out how to put the pages in after having them printed on one side (make sure you have this correct before proceeding ; if you can’t get your head around this, just redo the above steps and print a new testpage)
  • now, get ready to print the entire document :
  • press the [CMD] + [P] key combo on your keyboard to open the Print window ( or goto Word > File > Print )
  • click on “Copies & Pages” and choose “Microsoft Word” from the pulldown menu
  • in the Microsoft Word settings view, set “Print:” to “Even pages only”
  • then go back to “Copies & Pages” and at “Pages:” select “All”
  • then wait for all even pages to print
  • when done, flip over the bulk of printed paper the way you figured out to be right (using your test page as a reference) and put it back in the printing drawer
  • make sure that not only the orientation is correct, but that the first page is on top and the last page is at the bottom also
  • click on “Copies & Pages” and choose “Microsoft Word” from the pulldown menu
  • in the Microsoft Word settings view, set “Print:” to “Odd pages only”
  • then go back to “Copies & Pages” and at “Pages:” select “All”
  • then wait for all odd pages to print
  • …now check if your document is printed correctly on both sides !
  • if not… you have gotten your page flipping incorrect… too bad… you’ll have to redo from start…

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed” error in WordPress Dashboard

Question :

My WordPress.com website has been shifted to the revamped version of the WordPress Dashboard, but now, when I am trying to re-edit posts from before September 2020, I can only see the post’s title in the edit page… the body text is replaced by an error message saying “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed”.

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

The underlying problem is not exactly clear, but the solution is rather simple :

  • make sure you are running the latest version of macOS, if not : upgrade to the latest version of macOS
  • make sure you are running the latest version of Safari (or the browser you are using), if not : upgade to the latest version
  • open Safari
  • goto “View” (in the top menu bar)
  • click on “Reload without Content Blockers” (from the pulldown menu)
    • Note : the regular β€œReload Page (CMD+R)” will NOT solve the problem !

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : put printing & scanning shortcuts in the Dock

Question :

Whenever I need to scan (or sometimes even to print) anything, I need to go into System Preferences, then Printers & Scanners, then click Open Scanner…

Isn’t there a one-click solution to do this ?

Answer :

Yes there is.

Back in the days of MacOSX there used to be an option for this called “Desktop Printer” : that would put a shortcut-link of your printer on the Desktop. And you could do the same for your scanner.

Nowadays, for some reason, this option is gone, and no easy alternative is given by macOS… so you will have to create some thing yourself… the easiest way is to put both your Printer’s and your Scanner’s icon in the Dock. To do so, do this :

  • go to Apple menu (Apple-icon top-left in the top menu bar)
  • when the pulldown menu appears, select “System Preferences”
  • in the window that opens, click “Printers & Scanners”
    • if there is no such option, click on the raster-icon (top-center) first and it will appear
  • in the window that opens, click on your scanner (in the list on the left)
    • if your scanner is not yet in the list, add it first by clicking the Plus-icon at the bottom and following the on-screen instructions
  • now your scanner opens in the main part of the screen (on the right)
  • click the “Open scanner” button
  • now, the Scanner-window will open, and the scanner’s icon will appear in the Dock
  • CTRL-click (right mouse button) on the Scanner’s icon in the Dock
  • from the popup-menu, select “Options”, then “Keep in Dock”
  • now, the scanner’s icon will be moved to the left and it will stay in the Dock even after you close the scanner software
  • so, next time you want to scan anything, just click on the scanner’s icon in the Dock to open the scanner software

    That’s it !

Note : creating a direct link icon in the Dock for your printer can be done in the same way

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : “Scanner reported an error” when starting scanner

Question :

My Canon CanoScan 5600F is scanning great, even after all those years. The only problem I’m encountering with my new Mac is that I get a “Scanner reported an error” message when I try to start it from the shortlink (alias) I have in my Dock.

The exact error message is : “Scanner reported an error Cannot communicate with scanner for these reasons: – Scanner is turned off. – USB cable is disconnected. Please check and try again.” But the USB cable is connected properly and the scanner is turned on, so that can’t be the problem.

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

This problem was introduced some years ago, possibly somewhere within the shift from OSX to macOS. It seems to have to to with the start-up sequence of macOS’s build-in scanning software or the scanner going into some sleep mode. The solution is simple, even though it is more of a workaround than an actual fix. So if you run into this problem, do this :

  • turn the scanner off using the ON/OFF-switch on the outside of the scanner (the physical hardware button)
  • then, click the blue OK-button in the “Scanner reported an error” window
  • then, close the “Scanner” window by clicking the red dot button top-left
  • then, open the Scanner software again…
  • now, turn the scanner back on using the ON/OFF-switch on the outside of the scanner (the physical hardware button)
  • now the scanner should load the scan preview automatically (as if you had clicked the Overview-button)
  • just make sure the scan area hasn’t been reset, so…
    • …either uncheck “Use Custom Size” and make sure “size” is “A4” (or anything suitable)
    • …or manually line out the scan area in the preview

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : convert video for WhatsApp

Question :

I have a short video file (a movie clip) that I want to share with my friends on WhatsApp. When I drag&drop it into the WhatsApp.app in macOS, the file appears to start uploading… but when done, there is no preview shown and no Play-button, just a file icon… as if it were an unknown or incompatible type of file…

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

Before uploading your video file to WhatsApp, you must make sure your video file meets WhatsApp’s file requirements :

  • video format preferably MP4 in H.264 or MPEG-4 codec ( MKV, AVI or 3GP will also do )
  • audio format preferably AAC ( or AC3 codec )
  • file size smaller than about 16MB ( in reality even 18MB might be okay )
    • usually, this means your movie clip will be about 90 seconds, but by tweaking the display size and the frame rate ( fps ) you can even squeeze 3 minutes or more into about 16MB

Do this to check your video’s specifications :

  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the movie clip’s icon
  • select “Get Info” from the popup-menu
  • in the window that opens, check these :
    • the file name either has the “.mov” or “.mp4” file extension
    • at “Size:” less that 18MB should be listed
    • at “Codecs:” either “H.264” or “H.264, AAC” is listed

If these are all okay, you should be able to just drag&drop the movie clip into the macOS WhatsApp.app.

If not, you will have to convert the movie clip. To do this conversion, do this :

  • first, download the FREE OmniConverter.app ( by 7littlemen ) from the Mac AppStore :
  • then, open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Convert Video” from the list on the left
  • then, drag&drop your movie clip file onto the OmniConverter window
  • now, at the right of the arrow (in the middle), check if “MP4” is listed and the file size is less than 18MB
    • if you do not see “MP4” listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Format-button
      • in the window that opens, select the “Device”-tab
      • then, select “iPhone” from the list on the left
      • then, select the “iPhone HD” option
      • now, click the Confirm-button
    • if you see a file size larger than 18MB listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Edit-button
      • in the window that opens, at “Video”>”Encoder:” select “H.264”
      • and at “Audio”>”Encoder:” select “AAC”
      • leave the rest as is and click the Confirm-button
  • back in the Convert Video window, click on the Start-button ( circled arrow icon, at the right )
  • now, wait for the conversion to complete
    • if the file size already was less than 18MB, you’re usually okay and you will not need to do extra compression
    • if the file size was over 18MB, do this :
      • open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Compress Video” from the list on the left
      • drag&drop the .mp4-video you’ve just converted onto the OmniConverter window
      • check if the file size listed at the right of the arrow (in the middle) is less than 16MB
        • if so, click the Start-button on the right
        • if not, click the Edit-button (below the arrow)
        • in the window that opens, set the “Quality:”-slider in-between “Mid” and “High”, set “Resolution:” to “720P” and set “Frame Rate:” to “24 FPS”
        • if at “Size:” it now says anything less than 16MB, click the Confirm-button
        • if at “Size:” it says anything over 30MB, set “Resolution:” to “480P”
        • if at “Size:” it says anything between 20MB and 30MB, set the “Quality:”-slider to “Mid”
        • now, if at “Size:” it still says anything over 18MB, start tweaking the available settings until at “Size:” it says about 15MB ( see how much the file size decreases when you tweak each setting to find the optimal combination of settings )
        • when done, click the Confirm-button
      • now, in the “Compress Video” window, click the Start-button
      • …and wait for the compression to finish

After the file conversion, drag&drop the converted movie clip into the WhatsApp.app to share it with your friends…

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : convert old .flv movie files to .mp4 for free

Question :

I’ve found this old Flash videos (in .flv format) on an old hard disk and I want to play them on my Mac / iPhone, but QuickTime gives a “The document could not be opened”-error, stating “The file isn’t compatible with QuickTime Player.”

Is there a simple way to convert them to a video file format that QuickTime can handle (preferably .mp4) ?

Answer :

Yes, there is : the FREE Smart Converter app can do this for you very easily. Just do this :

  • open the SmartConverter.app
  • when the Smart Converter window opens, drag&drop the .flv-video file that you want to convert onto it
  • then, click the Mac-button (in-between the QuickTime and iPad buttons)
  • then, click the blue Convert-button (bottom right) and wait for the conversion to finish
  • then, after noticing that the blue Convert-button has changed into a blue ShowFile-button, click on it
  • in the Finder-window that opens, click on the converted video file (that now has an .mp4 file extension) and it will open in the QuickTime Player app

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰