Article ID: 321611 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q321611
This step-by-step article suggests ways that you can diagnose and resolve issues in which Microsoft Word does not print your document.
Examples of print failure include error messages and other messages that appear when you try to print, lack of response from the printer, and files that are printed as meaningless symbols.
This article does not address printer output issues, such as envelope positioning problems, missing graphics, and inaccurate page numbers.
Note Before you continue, see the "References" section of this article for known Word issues that might match your symptoms.
If you do not find a match for your error message or symptoms, follow the steps in this article to troubleshoot your printing problem.
To resolve print failure in Word, you must determine its cause. Causes typically fit one of five major categories:
Perform the following easy tests to help determine the type of cause that you are experiencing.
Step 1: Test Printing in Other DocumentsDamaged documents or documents that contain damaged graphics or damaged fonts can cause print errors in Word. Before you reinstall drivers or software, test the ability of the Word program to print. To do this, perform this test:
If you receive no errors in the test document, but you still cannot print your original document, it is likely that your original document is damaged.
This may be true even if you can print the same document on another computer. This is because there are many situations in which the symptoms of file damage appear on some computers and not on others.
Again, it is important to rely on systematic troubleshooting, rather than assuming what the cause of the problem is. Therefore, if you cannot print a particular document, but you can print other documents in Word, you probably have a damaged document and should troubleshoot the problem accordingly.
If Word cannot print at all, or Word cannot print a certain font or a certain type of graphic, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Test Printing in Other ProgramsUnderstanding the scope of the printing problem may reveal its cause. For example, some printing problems only affect Word, and other printing problems affect several or all of your Microsoft Windows programs.
The following tests can help determine whether this issue involves multiple programs or whether the symptoms are unique to Word.
Test in WordPad:
The steps for selecting a different font are the same in WordPad as they are in Word.
To insert a graphics image in WordPad, follow these steps:
For more information about how to troubleshoot printer problems in Windows, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/128345/ )How to troubleshoot printing problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/163551/ )Troubleshooting printing problems in Windows
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314085/ )Troubleshooting general printing problems in Windows XP
314073If you find that the problem is limited to a particular font, the problem may be the result of a damaged font file. If you can print without problems in all your programs except Word, go to Step 3 of this article.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314073/ )How to troubleshoot network printing problems in Windows XP
Step 3: Test Printing with Different Printer DriversIf Word is the only program on your computer that cannot print, you may think that Word is the cause of the problem. It is important to remember that Word is a very printer-intensive program. This means that a minor problem with the printer driver affects Word before it affects other programs.
To determine whether the printer driver is the cause of the problem, you can test different drivers.
If the Word printing problem occurs only when you print documents with a certain font or a certain type of graphics image, try to print to another printer. If no other printer is available, contact the manufacturer to find out whether there is an updated version of the driver or a different driver that works with your printer model. See the REFERENCES section later in this article for information about contacting a third-party vendor.
If the Word printing problem occurs even when you print documents that consist of only text, you can test printing from Word by using a generic/text-only printer driver. To do this, follow these steps for your version of Windows.
Note On some versions of Windows, these steps may require access to the Windows installation CD-ROM or access to a network drive that contains the Windows installation files.
Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), or Windows XP:
If the printing problem occurs with a different printer driver, go to Step 4.
Step 4: Test the Word Program Files and SettingsAt this point, you have verified that the printing problem is not limited to a particular document or a particular printer driver, and that the problem is limited to the Word program.
The next step is to test the Word program by starting with only the default settings.
Step 5: Test for Problems in Microsoft WindowsTo look for device drivers or memory-resident applications that might be interfering with the Word print function, start in Windows Safe mode, and then test printing to a file in Word.
To start in Windows Safe mode, follow the steps for your version of Windows.
NoteYou must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in to finish this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.
Warning Following the steps in this article may disable the System Restore Service and may remove any previously created Restore Points. If you want to try to restore the system to an earlier state by using the System Restore utility, see the following Knowledge Base article for information about this process:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084/ )How to restore the operating system to a previous state in Windows XP
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310353/ )How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
202485If the Word printing problem does not occur when you start Windows in Safe mode, you can narrow down the source of the problem by using clean-boot troubleshooting.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/202485/ )Description of Safe Boot mode in Windows 2000
For more information about clean-boot troubleshooting, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
281770Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281770/ )How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 2000
180902If the Word printing problem does not occur when you start in Windows Safe mode, you can narrow down the source of the problem by using clean-boot troubleshooting.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/180902/ )How to Start a Windows 98-based computer in Safe Mode
For more information about clean-boot troubleshooting, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192926/ )How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 98
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281965/ )How to troubleshoot using the Msconfig utility with Windows 98
267288Windows NT 4.0:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/267288/ )How to perform a clean boot in Windows Millennium Edition
Windows NT 4.0 does not have a Safe mode option, but you can end tasks by using the Task Manager and stop antivirus services by using the Services application in Control Panel.
To end tasks on Windows NT, follow these steps:
If you determine that the cause is a third-party program, remove the program, or contact the vendor for additional support. See the REFERENCES section later in this article for information about contacting a third-party vendor.
Known Word Print IssuesThe following articles describe known printing issues in Microsoft Word. If you find a match for your print error, click the article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291174/ )Error Message "No printers are installed" when you attempt to print or fax document
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308994/ )Error message when you try to change printer properties from Office program
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274002/ )A2 envelope size unavailable with some printers
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291335/ )Page borders may be displayed or printed incorrectly in Word 2002 and in Word 2003
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290950/ )Error message when you fax from WinFax
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294659/ )Word closes unexpectedly when you change printer settings on HP 4500 Color LaserJet
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303957/ )Cannot print a document from the Open dialog box
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314568/ )You receive a margin placement error message when you print a document in Word 2003 or Word 2002
316731For information about how to contact third-party vendors, click the appropriate article number in the following list to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316731/ )"The macros in this project have been disabled" error message and Vbe6.dll error signature when you try to start Word 2002
65416Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/65416/ )Hardware and software vendor contact information, A-K
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/60781/ )Hardware and software vendor contact information, L-P
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/60782/ )Hardware and software vendor contact information, Q-Z
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.
For troubleshooting steps and an automatic fix for common printer problems in Windows, please see the following Microsoft web page:
Troubleshooter: Printer problems in Windows