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My printer prints on the side facing down on the tray. To save paper, I print 2 pages on one side in landscape mode, and read both sides by flipping on the short edge.

enter image description here

Without trial-and-error (choosing one direction randomly, then printing the result), how can I clinch which of the 2 directions beneath is correct? To wit:

enter image description here

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Before you print, put a pencil mark on one of the edges of the paper that has been loaded and remember which edge it was. Thus, when you print the page you'll know exactly which side you need to load the paper next time.

Notes:

  1. This is a trial-and-error unless you are printing double-sided.
  2. You need to do the mark test only once to figure out which way your printer prints.
  • This is the best method as there is no standard way printers turn the image when they print it. – Willeke Oct 28 '18 at 10:51
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If you're lucky, the printer uses an icon like this one to show paper orientation:

printer icon

The A ( or horizontal lines) show that the paper is printed-side up, and the folded corner shows the paper orientation.

Most copiers have these icons on the infeed for originals, my printer also has them in the paper bins.

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