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Printing Options—Sticky or Not?

The most common problem I have with Word printing is to find that the print options were not set as I expected and my print job has to be redone. This situation is almost always the result of a print option I set for a previous job having stayed in effect—being sticky—when I thought it would not; or vice versa, an option that I thought would remain set having gone back to the default setting.

I can see printing options having three possible levels of stickiness:

  • Remaining in effect for the current document only, affecting no other documents
  • Being in effect for the current print job only and then returning to the default for the current and all other documents
  • Remaining in effect for all documents until explicitly being turned off

I will not presume to say which options should fall into each of these categories, but I do think that the Print and Options dialog boxes should make it clear to the user which is which. Perhaps three tabs is the way to go: job options, document options, and application options.

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