Troubleshoot printing

General printing problems

ShowWhen I try to print a document or envelope, nothing happens.

  • Printing from your computer is primarily controlled by settings in Microsoft Windows. Determine whether your printer setup in Windows is correct by using the Windows Printing Troubleshooter.
    1. In Windows, click Start, and then click Help and Support.
    2. In the Search box, type Windows Print Troubleshooter, and click the arrow to start searching.
    3. In the Suggested Topics box, click List of troubleshooters, and then select Printing from the list.
    4. Follow the instructions in the Printing Troubleshooter.
  • If the Microsoft Windows printer setup looks correct, check the Microsoft Word printer settings to make sure that the selected printer matches the printer you are using. On the File menu, click Print, and then click the name of the printer you want to use in the Name box.
  • Make sure that the page range you've selected in the Print dialog box corresponds to the pages you want to print.

ShowI get a blank page at the end of my printed document.

ShowI can't print property information for multiple documents.

In previous versions of Microsoft Word, you could use the Print dialog box to have Word print property information for several documents at once. Word printing functionality is now updated to be consistent with other Microsoft Windows programs, and you can no longer print property information for multiple documents at one time. You can still, however, print property information for one document at a time.

ShowMy printer asks me for a paper size I don't have.

  • You may be printing a document that was created with a different language version of Microsoft Word and formatted for a different paper size.

To have Word format the document to your printer's paper size for this printing session only, click Print on the File menu. Under Zoom, select the paper size you want to use in the Scale to paper size box. Word will scale the page to fit the paper size you choose, similar to the reduce/enlarge feature on a photocopy machine.

  • If the document was originally created for A4 paper size and you are printing Letter size, or vice versa, you can also specify that Word always scales your documents properly. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Print tab. Then select the Allow A4/Letter paper resizing check box.

ShowWhen I try to print a document, Microsoft Word stops responding.

Try obtaining an updated printer driver from the printer's manufacturer.

Appearance of the printed document

ShowText that I print looks different from text on the screen.

  • Microsoft Word might be using draft fonts to display text. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab. Under Outline and Normal options, clear the Draft font check box.
  • Word might be printing a draft of your text. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Print tab. Clear the Draft output check box.
  • The font in your document might not be available on the printer you're using. Change the font in your document to a TrueType font, which looks the same on the printed page as it does on the screen. Or change the font to one that is available on your printer.

To see available printer fonts, look in the Font box on the Standard toolbar — Printer symbol indicates a printer font and TrueType symbol indicates a TrueType font.

  • The font in your document might be one that is available on your printer but that doesn't have a matching screen font. Microsoft Windows substitutes a TrueType font to display the text on the screen. Try changing the font in your document to a TrueType font.
  • Animated text effects aren't printed. If text in your document is animated, it will print with the underlying text formatting — such as bold or italic — but the animated effects will not be printed.
  • If you want to print your document at a much higher resolution than what's available on your desktop printer, you can create a printer file. A printer file saves the necessary information from your document so that line and page breaks and font spacing remain the same. Any printer that uses the same printer language (for example, PostScript) can print the file and match the output from your computer, provided that the fonts used in the document are available on the printer. Also, when you use a printer file, you can print your document from a computer that doesn't have Word installed.
  • Use print layout view or print preview. In print layout view (Print Layout view: A view of a document or other object as it will appear when you print it. For example, items such as headers, footnotes, columns, and text boxes appear in their actual positions.), you see how objects, such as headers, footers, or drawing objects, will be positioned in printed documents and in printed documents that are viewed on the screen. In print preview (print preview: A view of a document as it will appear when you print it.), you can also see how a document will look when printed, with the added advantage of being able to magnify and reduce the size of pages and see multiple pages at one time.

ShowText runs off the edge of the page.

  • Make sure that the selected printer matches the printer you're using. On the File menu, click Print, and then in the Name box, click the name of the printer you want to use.
  • Make sure that you've selected the correct paper size by clicking Page Setup (File menu) and then clicking the Paper tab.

ShowThe layout of my page looks wrong when I print it.

You may be printing a document that was created with a different language version of Microsoft Word and formatted for a different paper size. To have Word format the document to your printer's paper size for this printing session only, click Print on the File menu. Under Zoom, select the paper size you want to use in the Scale to paper size box. Word will scale the page to fit the paper size you choose, similar to the reduce/enlarge feature on a photocopy machine.

ShowI inserted a manual page break, but the new page doesn't print.

If you inadvertently format a manual page break (page break: The point at which one page ends and another begins. Microsoft Word inserts an "automatic" (or soft) page break for you, or you can force a page break at a specific location by inserting a "manual" (or hard) page break.) as hidden text and then specify that hidden text is not printed, Microsoft Word ignores the manual page break. The new page won't appear when viewed in print preview (print preview: A view of a document as it will appear when you print it.) (File menu), and the new page won't print.

To remove the hidden text format, first make sure you can see the manual page break: Switch to normal view (normal view: A view that shows text formatting and a simplified page layout. Normal view is convenient for most editing and formatting tasks.), and, if necessary, turn on hidden text by clicking Show/Hide Paragraph mark Button image on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.). Then, select the page break, click Font on the Format menu, and clear the Hidden check box.

ShowWhen I print a master document, the wrong page numbers and headers appear at the beginning of each section.

To use the same section (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) formatting (such as page numbers, headers, or footers) throughout the entire master document, set the formats in the master document.

To change the page numbers, headers, or footers for an individual subdocument, open the subdocument and set the formats you want.

ShowThe header or footer is missing or only partially printed.

You may have placed the text in the nonprinting area of the page. Check your printer manual to see how close to the edge of the paper your printer can print.

On the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Layout tab. Next to From edge, enter a value that's larger than your printer's minimum margin setting.

ShowWhen I print from outline view, only a few headings are printed on each page.

ShowWhen I print from reading layout view, the printed pages don't match the pages on the screen.

Pages represented in reading layout view (reading layout view: A view that is designed for reading documents on a computer screen. The document is resized to fit the screen and most toolbars are removed, but commands are available for navigating, commenting, and looking up words.) are designed to fit well on your screen; they do not represent the pages you see when you print the document. To display pages as they will look when printed, click Actual Page Button image on the Reading Layout toolbar.

ShowWhen I print my document, some of the text is cut off.

Most printers require a minimum width for margin settings, since they can't print to the edge of the page. If you try to set margins that are too narrow, Microsoft Word displays the message "One or more margins are set outside the printable area of the page." To prevent text from being cut off, click Fix to automatically increase the margin width. If you ignore the message and try to print the document, Word displays another message asking whether you want to continue.

You can also set the margins manually by using the ruler or the Margins tab (File menu, Page Setup command). Keep in mind that the minimum margin settings depend on your printer, printer driver, and paper size. To determine the minimum margin settings, check your printer manual.

Booklets

ShowI can't print a booklet with portrait orientation.

Booklets in Microsoft Word are intended to have landscape orientation. If you're working in portrait orientation and select Book fold, Word automatically switches the page orientation for you.

ShowWhen I preview my booklet, it doesn't look the way it should.

When you preview a booklet, you see pages sequentially, not necessarily arranged as they will be in the printed booklet.

ShowAfter I set up my document as a booklet, graphics ran off the edge of the page.

When you create a booklet, it's best to start from a new, blank document because selecting Book fold on the Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box can shift the positioning of graphics and other elements. However, if you want to create a book fold in an existing document, you can reposition the graphics after setting up the page. Try using the horizontal and vertical rulers to help you position elements precisely.

ShowMy booklet is too thick to staple.

In the Page Setup dialog box, click the Margins tab. In the Sheets per booklet box, decrease the number of pages per booklet. This will create a larger number of booklets, each with fewer pages. You can also talk with your printing professional about stapling and binding options.

Fonts

ShowThe font I'm using isn't showing up in my document.

The font may be unavailable on your computer or printer. You can change the font that Microsoft Word substitutes for the unavailable font.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Compatibility tab.
  2. Click Font Substitution.
  3. Under Font substitutions, click the missing font name under Missing document font.
  4. In the Substituted font box, click another font.

Graphics, document backgrounds, and watermarks

ShowGraphics aren't printed when I print my document.

ShowWatermarks don't appear on every page of my printed document.

Watermarks (watermark: Any graphic or text, such as "Confidential," that when printed appears either on top of or behind existing document text.) won't appear on every page if you change your header or footer (header and footer: A header, which can consist of text or graphics, appears at the top of every page in a section. A footer appears at the bottom of every page. Headers and footers often contain page numbers, chapter titles, dates, and author names.) for part of the document. For example, the first page may have a unique header or footer, or none at all.

Or the document may contain different headers and footers on odd and even pages or in particular sections (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.). You can check whether the document contains sections by reading the status bar at the bottom of your screen.

If you reinsert the watermark, it should appear on every page of your document.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003