Troubleshoot printing and reporting

ShowNothing prints when I click the Print button.

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 Print Troubleshooter, or check to see that you are using the correct printer in Microsoft Office Project 2003.

  • On the Windows XP Start menu, click Help and Support. Under Pick a Help topic, click Fixing a Problem. Click Printing Problems. On the right, under Fix a problem, click Printing Troubleshooter, and then follow the instructions.

If you are using Windows 2000, on the Start menu, click Help. Click the Index tab, and then type print troubleshooter. On the Index tab, click Display, in the Help topic, click Print for that type of troubleshooter, and then follow the instructions.

  • If the Windows printer setup looks correct, check the Project printer settings to make sure that the selected printer matches the printer you're using. On the File menu, click Print, and then click the name of the printer you want to use in the Name box.

ShowWhat I see on the screen is not what prints.

You may get different information on the screen than what's printed because of settings on the printer itself. If you change the margin settings on your printer, Microsoft Office Project 2003 may not override those settings. For example, if you set the margins on the printer at 1 inch and the margins in Project at 0.5 inch, then part of each page may be cut off when you print your project.

If you have borders on the screen but they don't print, try increasing the page margins to 0.5 inch or more (on the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Margins tab).

You may see fields (field: A location in a sheet, form, or chart that contains a specific kind of information about a task, resource, or assignment. For example, in a sheet, each column is a field. In a form, a field is a named box or a place in a column.) (columns) on your screen (especially in a Gantt Chart) that do not print when you print that view (view: The combination of one or more views [Gantt Chart, Resource Sheet, and so on] and if applicable, a table and a filter. Use views to work with information in a variety of formats. There are three types of views: Charts or graphs, Sheets, and Forms.).

When you preview a view (click Print Preview on the File menu), you may see blank pages that are unavailable. To print blank pages, click Page Setup on the File menu, click the View tab, and then select the Print blank pages check box.

If Gantt bars (Gantt bar: A graphical element on the chart portion of the Gantt Chart view representing the duration of a task.) or Network Diagram (Network Diagram: A diagram that shows dependencies between project tasks. Tasks are represented by boxes, or nodes, and task dependencies are represented by lines that connect the boxes. In Project, the Network Diagram view is a network diagram.) boxes do not print the way they appear on the screen, check the printer's properties.

If the legend does not print as it appears on the screen, check the printer or plotter drivers.

ShowChanges I make to my view or report do not print.

ShowPrint setup options I changed don't take effect

You may have inadvertently closed the Print Preview window before you printed. If you click Print after clicking Close, your project is printed using the default settings, not the changes you made.

ShowGridlines don't print

If gridlines (gridlines: The horizontal and vertical lines that appear in many Project views. You can change the patterns and colors of gridlines, and you can control the interval at which different patterns and colors occur.) don't print in a view, make sure the gridline color is dark enough to print clearly. Light gray, light blue, yellow, or white lines may not print clearly on black-and-white or color printers.

If gridlines don't print in a task (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) report or resource (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) report, make sure the Gridlines between details option on the Details tab of the report's dialog box is selected.

ShowText doesn't print

You may have formatted text using the Font command on the Format menu instead of the Text Styles command on the Format menu. The Font command applies only to selected text or cells; the Text Styles command applies to items such as all tasks, critical tasks, marked tasks, row and column titles, and timescales (timescale: The time period indicator at the top of the Gantt views, the Resource Graph view, the Task Usage view, and the Resource Usage view. You can customize it to show up to three tiers that can display various time units: top, middle, and bottom.). Try using the Text Styles command.

ShowChanges in scale aren't printed

You may not have saved your project. After you change the scale (scale: A method for increasing or decreasing the image on a printed page. Decreasing the scale prints more of a view or report on each page; increasing the scale prints less of a view or report on each page.) of your view, close the Page Setup dialog box, and then save the project. Then try printing it again.

ShowPage orientation changes are ignored.

The printer or plotter driver may be ignoring page setup. Try reinstalling or upgrading the driver. For information about installing printer or plotter drivers, see the documentation that comes with your printer or plotter.

ShowNotes don't print.

If you've added task, resource, or assignment notes (note: Explanatory text that you can attach to a task, resource, or assignment.) to your project or to a report but they aren't printing in your view, make sure you've selected them to print.

ShowI can't print the column I want.

By default, Microsoft Office Project 2003 only prints the columns displayed on the screen on the first page of a printed sheet view (sheet: A spreadsheet-like representation [in rows and columns] of task or resource information. Each row specifies an individual task or resource. Each column [field] specifies a type of information, such as start dates or standard rates.) (or the first page of each row for multiple-page views (view: The combination of one or more views [Gantt Chart, Resource Sheet, and so on] and if applicable, a table and a filter. Use views to work with information in a variety of formats. There are three types of views: Charts or graphs, Sheets, and Forms.)). To include additional columns, you need to specify the number of columns you want to print on each page or choose to print all columns on the first page, even if only a few are displayed on the screen.

If you want to print columns on subsequent pages, you must specify that you want them printed and specify the number of columns you want printed.

If you don't specify the number of columns, three columns are printed on the subsequent pages. You can specify up to 116 columns.

Learn how to optimize a view for printing.

ShowI just want to print part of my project.

You may not want to print all of your project. To print just the part of the project you want, try changing any or all of the following:

ShowViews or reports

ShowTables or filters

ShowRange of pages

Specify the range of pages you want to print.

Learn how to print specific pages in a view or report.

ShowDate range

Specify the date range you want to print.

Learn how to print a specific date range in a view.


Specify the columns you want to print or change the columns that are displayed so they can be printed.

Learn how to print all columns in a view.

ShowIt takes too long to print my project.

The amount of time it takes for a project to print depends on two basic factors: the speed of the printer and the size (and complexity) of your project. Printer speed is not solely a factor of how many pages a printer prints per minute; the number of people using the printer (if it's on a network), the amount of RAM in the printer and your computer, and the network settings for the printer all factor into printer speed.

Large and complex projects take longer to print. Even a small project can take a long time to print if you insert graphics into the workspace (workspace: Files and settings you can save and reopen by opening a single workspace file. Workspace files have the .mpw extension. When you create a workspace file, Project creates lists of the current settings, open projects, views, and so on.), header (header: Text that appears at the top of a printed page. A header typically contains information such as the project or company name and the project start and finish dates.), or footer (footer: Text that appears at the bottom of a printed page. A footer typically contains information such as page number, total page count, and date.).

ShowSetup doesn't list my printer or plotter.

When setting up a new printer or plotter, if your printer or plotter is not included in the list of manufacturers, or the manufacturer is listed but the model you have is not, then you have several options:

  • If your printer came with an installation disk, click Have Disk during setup and follow the instructions.
  • Check your printer documentation for a compatible printer, or check how to have your printer emulate a printer in the list of manufacturers or emulate another model by the same manufacturer.
  • Contact your printer manufacturer for setup and driver instructions.

ShowMy project won't print on the paper size I want.

The paper size choices available for printing depend on the type of printer or plotter you're using. If Microsoft Office Project 2003 does not recognize the printer or plotter, you may not be able to choose the paper size you want. Try other installed drivers or refer to the documentation that came with your printer or plotter for information on how to obtain the latest driver from the manufacturer.

Learn how to change the paper size before printing.

Applies to:
Project 2003