WD: Dark Colors Print the Same as Regular Colors

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In Word 6.0 for Windows, characters or drawing objects formatted with dark colors (such as Dk Magenta or Dk Cyan) print as black or as their non-dark counterparts (such as Magenta or Cyan) on some color printers. The screen displays the dark colors correctly, but they print out as black.

In Word 2.0 for Windows, characters formatted with dark colors print the same as their non-dark counterparts on some color printers. The screen displays dark colors correctly. For example, Dark Green and Green text are different on the screen, but they both print out as Green.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


Select the colored text or drawing objects, copy them, and paste them into Paintbrush or Microsoft Drawing. This will convert the images to a bitmap format. You can then copy them or update them back into the Word document.

With the Canon BJC 600, you can change the Media Type to Coated Paper, which allows the printer to print the dark colors correctly. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows Control Panel, choose the Printers icon.
  2. Choose the Setup button.
  3. In the Media Type list, choose Coated Paper.
  4. Choose the OK button, and then the Close button.
The dark colors will now print correctly to the BJC-600 from Microsoft Word version 6.0.


The following table lists colors as formatted in Word and as they print on a color printer:
                                 DeskJet        BubbleJet
                                 550C and       600 and
                Word 2.0         Word 6.0       Word 6.0
   Color        Prints As        Prints As      Prints As
   -----        ---------        ---------      ---------
   Black        Black            Black          Black
   Blue         Blue             Blue           Blue
   Cyan         Cyan             Cyan           Cyan
   Green        Green            Green          Green
   Magenta      Magenta          Magenta        Magenta
   Red          Red              Red            Red
   Yellow       Yellow           Yellow         Yellow
   White        White            White          White
   Dk Blue      Blue             Black          Blue
   Dk Cyan      Cyan             Black          Cyan
   Dk Green     Green            Black          Green
   Dk Magenta   Magenta          Black          Magenta
   Dk Red       Red              Black          Red
   Dk Yellow    Yellow           Black          Yellow
   Dk Gray      Lt Gray          Black          White
   Lt Gray      Lt Gray          White          White
Note: The above test was conducted with Windows version 3.1 on the following printers for Word 6.0
   HP DeskJet 550C         DESKJETC.DRV v5.0
   Canon BJC 600           BJC600.DRV   v2.0d
and on the following printers for Word 2.0:
   HP PaintJet XL          PAINT.DRV v2.1
   Star NX-2420 Rainbow    STAR24E.DRV v1.2
   Citizen 200GX color     CIT9US.DRV v2.0
   HP DeskJet 550C         DESKJETC.DRV v3.0, v3.1
The third-party products discussed here are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products' performance or reliability.


Article ID: 98502 - Last Review: October 21, 2013 - Revision: 2.3
  • Microsoft Word 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2.0a
  • Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0b
  • Microsoft Word 2.0c
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 6.0a
  • Microsoft Word 6.0c
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 95a
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
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