How to troubleshoot print failures in Word 2002

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SUMMARY

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:
  • Damaged documents or damaged content in documents
  • The Word program
  • The printer driver
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Connectivity/hardware
It is important not to assume too quickly what the cause of your printing problem may be. Instead, rely on systematic troubleshooting to reveal the real cause.

Perform the following easy tests to help determine the type of cause that you are experiencing.



Step 1: Test Printing in Other Documents

Damaged 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:
  1. Open a new blank document in Word.
  2. On the first line of the document, type the following text:
    =rand(10)
  3. Press ENTER. This inserts 10 paragraphs of sample text.
  4. Try to print the document.
  5. If the document prints successfully, change to a different font, or insert clip art, a table, or a drawing object. Then test the print function again. To change the font, follow these steps:
    1. Using your mouse pointer, select your sample text.
    2. On the Format menu, click Font.
    3. In the Font list, select a different font, and then click OK.
    To insert clip art, follow these steps:
    1. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click Clip Art.
    2. On the Insert Clip Art task pane, leave the Search text box blank, and then click Search.
    3. Right-click one of the pictures, and then click Insert on the shortcut menu.
    4. Close the Insert Clip Art task pane.
    To insert a table, follow these steps:
    1. On the Table menu, point to Insert, and then click Table.
    2. Click OK.
    To insert a drawing object, follow these steps:
    1. On the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Drawing.
    2. On the Drawing toolbar, select one of the drawing shapes.
    3. Click anywhere in the document, drag the mouse pointer, and then release the button.
The success or failure of the preceding tests shows whether Word can print in general. These tests might also give you clues about certain fonts or graphics that Word cannot print.

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 Programs

Understanding 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:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs (in Microsoft Windows XP, point to All Programs), point to Accessories, and then click WordPad.
  2. In the blank WordPad document, type This is a test.
  3. On the File menu, click Print.
  4. Click OK or Print to print the file.
If you found in Step 1 of this article that the print problem only occurs with certain fonts or certain graphics images, try to reproduce this problem in WordPad. To do this, apply the same font, or insert the same type of graphics image.

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:
  1. On the Insert menu, click Object.
  2. Try one or both of the following:
    • To create a new graphics image, click Create New, and then select one of the object types from the list. For example, click Microsoft Clip Gallery to insert clip art, or click Bitmap Image to create a test bitmap by using the Microsoft Paint program.
    • To insert a graphics image from a file, click Create from File, and then click Browse to select the file.
After you finish your testing in WordPad, you can test the print functions in your Web browser or your other Office programs. You also can try to print a test page for your printer. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.

    Note In Windows XP, click Start and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, click Print Test Page.
If you cannot print a test page, or if you cannot print in several or all of your Windows programs, you have a printer driver problem, a Windows problem, or a hardware/connectivity problem.

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:
128345 How to troubleshoot printing problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition
163551 Troubleshooting printing problems in Windows
314085 Troubleshooting general printing problems in Windows XP
314073 How to troubleshoot network printing problems in Windows XP
If 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.



Step 3: Test Printing with Different Printer Drivers

If 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:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.

    Note In Windows XP, click Start and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Double-click the Add Printer icon.

    Note In Windows XP, click Printers and Faxes, and then click Add a printer under Printer Tasks.
  3. Click Next on the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard.
  4. Click Local printer, and then click Next.
  5. In the Manufacturers list, click Generic and then click Next.
  6. Click FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  7. Click Yes when you are prompted for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  8. Click No when you are prompted to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  9. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click Print on the File menu.
  10. When the Print to file dialog box appears, click My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
Microsoft Windows 2000:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Double-click the Add Printer icon.
  3. Click Next on the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard.
  4. Click Local printer, and then click Next.
  5. Click FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  6. In the Manufacturers list, click Generic.
  7. In the Printers list, click Generic/Text Only, and then click Next.
  8. Click Yes when you are prompted for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  9. Click Do not share this printer, and then click Next.
  10. Click No when you are prompted to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  11. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click Print.
  12. When the Print to file dialog box appears, click My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Double-click the Add Printer icon.
  3. Click My Computer, and then click Next.
  4. Click FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  5. In the Manufacturers list, click Generic.
  6. In the Printers list, click Generic/Text Only, and then click Next.
  7. Click Yes when you are prompted for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  8. Click Not shared, and then click Next.
  9. Click No when you are prompted to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  10. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click Print.
  11. When the Print to file dialog box appears, click My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
If you receive an error message in Word when you print files that contain only text, but you do not receive the error message when you print with the generic/text-only printer driver, your printer driver may be damaged. In this case, contact the manufacturer for help with removing the printer driver and reinstalling an updated version. See the REFERENCES section later in this article for information about contacting a third-party vendor.

If the printing problem occurs with a different printer driver, go to Step 4.



Step 4: Test the Word Program Files and Settings

At 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.
  1. Follow the steps in this article Q319299 to install the Word 2002 Support Template.
  2. Start Word from Microsoft Office Tools. To do this, click Start, point to Programs (point to All Programs in Windows XP), point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Word 2002 Support Template.
  3. If you can print now, you can resolve your printing problem by permanently resetting Word to its defaults. To do this, follow the steps in the article Q319299.
If the printing problem continues to occur, run "Detect and Repair" to reinstall missing or damaged program files. To run Detect and Repair, follow these steps:
  1. On the Help menu in Word, click Detect and Repair.
  2. Click Start.
  3. Insert the Word CD-ROM or Office CD-ROM if you are prompted to do so, and then click OK.
If the printing problem continues to occur after you repair the Word or Office installation, the next step is to look for problems in Windows.



Step 5: Test for Problems in Microsoft Windows

To 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.

Windows XP:

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:
306084 How to restore the operating system to a previous state in Windows XP
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the General tab, click Selective Startup, and then clear all of the subsequent check boxes. You cannot clear the Use Original BOOT.INI check box.
  3. Click OK, and then click Restart to restart your computer.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310353 How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
Windows 2000:
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Press F8 when you see the message "For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows 2000, press F8."
  3. On the Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu, click Safe mode and then press ENTER.
  4. After Windows starts in Safe mode, start Word and then type some text in a new document.
  5. On the File menu, click Print.
  6. In the Print dialog box, click to select the Print to file check box, and then click OK.
  7. When the Print to file dialog box appears, click My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
For more information about Windows 2000 Safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
202485 Description of Safe Boot mode in Windows 2000
If 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.

For more information about clean-boot troubleshooting, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
281770 How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 2000
Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type msconfig and then click OK.
  3. On the General tab of the System Configuration Utility, click Advanced.
  4. Click to select the Enable Startup Menu check box, and then click OK.
  5. Click OK, and then click Yes when you are prompted to restart Windows.
  6. When you see the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu or the Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition Startup menu, type 3 for Safe mode.
  7. After Windows starts in Safe mode, start Word and then type some text in a new document.
  8. On the File menu, click Print.
  9. In the Print dialog box, click to select the Print to file check box, and then click OK.
  10. When the Print to file dialog box appears, click My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
For more information about how to start Windows 98 in Safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
180902 How to Start a Windows 98-based computer in Safe Mode
If 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.

For more information about clean-boot troubleshooting, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
192926 How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 98
281965 How to troubleshoot using the Msconfig utility with Windows 98
267288 How to perform a clean boot in Windows Millennium Edition
Windows NT 4.0:

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:
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE.
  2. Click Task Manager.
  3. Click the Applications tab.
  4. Click a program in the list, and then click End Task.
  5. Repeat step 4 for all programs that are listed.
To stop antivirus services on Windows NT, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click the Services icon.
  3. Select the service for your antivirus software, and then click Stop.
  4. Repeat step 3 if more than one service is associated with your antivirus package.
If the Word printing problem does not occur after you end tasks or stop antivirus services on Windows NT 4.0, restart the programs and services, one at a time, until you determine which program or service is causing the error.

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.


REFERENCES

Known Word Print Issues

The 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:
291174 Error Message "No printers are installed" when you attempt to print or fax document
308994 Error message when you try to change printer properties from Office program
274002 A2 envelope size unavailable with some printers
291335 Page borders may be displayed or printed incorrectly in Word 2002 and in Word 2003
290950 Error message when you fax from WinFax
294659 Word closes unexpectedly when you change printer settings on HP 4500 Color LaserJet
303957 Cannot print a document from the Open dialog box
314568 You receive a margin placement error message when you print a document in Word 2003 or Word 2002
316731 "The macros in this project have been disabled" error message and Vbe6.dll error signature when you try to start Word 2002
For 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:
65416 Hardware and software vendor contact information, A-K

60781 Hardware and software vendor contact information, L-P

60782 Hardware and software vendor contact information, Q-Z
Microsoft 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.
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

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Article ID: 321611 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprint kbhowtomaster KB321611

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