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WD2000: Characters Appear as Square Boxes in Printed Document
Article ID: 212380 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q212380
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986/EN-US/ )Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
When you print a document that contains extended characters, such as Greek symbols, to certain printers that use printer drivers that do not accept Unicode characters, the extended characters may be printed as square boxes, even though they are displayed correctly on the screen.
The problem affects the following printers and printer drivers:
This problem occurs because these printer drivers do not provide support for Unicode characters.
To work around this problem, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Set a Print FlagThere is a flag (registry setting) for the printer driver that causes it to use American National Standards Institute (ANSI) character layout functions instead of Unicode character layout functions. When set correctly, this flag allows the printer driver to print the extended characters correctly.
Use the procedure for setting a print flag that is appropriate to your situation.
WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
Procedure 1: Set one registry entry that applies to all installed printers.To set the registry entry, follow these steps:
Procedure 2: Set a flag for an individual printer.To set the registry entries, follow these steps:
Method 2: Printer-Specific WorkaroundsThe following information describes workarounds that are available for specific printer drivers. Note that not all printer drivers have a specific workaround; in this case, Method 1 is the only available workaround.
HP DeskJet 1600CTo work around this problem, follow these steps:
HP LaserJet 4 Series PCLTo work around this problem, follow these steps:
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
ASCII characters are represented by the values 0 to 127; ANSI includes ASCII but adds characters 128 through 255. In all languages, the ASCII characters are exactly the same, but characters 128-255 are used for characters specific to a language, based on the code page associated with the language. This approach handles the character differences for most languages in the world.
Some languages (specifically, East Asian languages such as Japanese Kanji, several dialects of Chinese, and Korean) cannot be represented with only 256 characters. The written characters in these languages are entire words rather than individual letters, so there are typically more than 6,000 different characters.
Unicode was introduced to handle these languages. Unicode uses two bytes per character, instead of the standard one byte per character.
For additional information, please click the article number(s) below to view the article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/99884/EN-US/ )Unicode and Microsoft Windows NT
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/130052/EN-US/ ): Ideas to Remember as You Convert from ASCII or ANSI to Unicode