How to troubleshoot print failure in Word 2000

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Article ID: 304422 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q304422
For a Microsoft Word 2003 version of this article, see 826845.
For a Microsoft Word 2002 version of this article, see 321611.
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SUMMARY

This article provides suggestions for diagnosing and resolving issues in which Microsoft Word 2000 does not print your document.

Examples of print failure include error messages and other messages that appear when you try to print, unresponsiveness 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. For ideas about how to troubleshoot print-rendering problems in Word, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304433 How to troubleshoot printer output issues in Word 2000
Note Before you continue, see the "References" section at the end of this article for known Word issues that might match your symptoms.

If you do not find a match for your error or symptoms, use the methods in the "More Information" section of this article for general troubleshooting.

MORE INFORMATION

The first step toward resolving print failure in Word is to determine its cause. Causes typically fall into one of five major categories:
  • Damaged documents or damaged content in documents
  • The Word application
  • The printer driver
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Connectivity/Hardware
It is important not to jump to any conclusions about the source of your printer problem, but instead rely on systematic troubleshooting to point you toward the real cause.

The following are easy tests that you can perform to help determine which category of causes your Word print issue falls into.

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 spend time reinstalling drivers or software, test the Word program's general ability to print by performing 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. Attempt to print the document.
  5. If the document prints successfully, try changing to different fonts or inserting clip art, tables, or drawing objects, and 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. Select a different font from the list, 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. Click one of the categories on the Pictures tab.
    3. Right-click one of the pictures, and then click Insert from the shortcut menu that appears.
    4. Close the Insert ClipArt dialog box.
    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. Select one of the drawing shapes from the Drawing toolbar.
    3. Click anywhere in the document, drag the mouse pointer, and then release the button.
The success or failure of the preceding tests indicates whether Word is able to print in general. These tests might also give you clues about certain fonts or graphics that Word is unable to 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, because there are numerous situations in which the symptoms of file damage are apparent on some computers and not on others.

Once again, it is critical to rely on systematic troubleshooting rather than assumption. Therefore, if you cannot print a particular document, but you can print other documents in Word, you are probably dealing with a damaged document and should troubleshoot the problem accordingly.

If you discover that Word cannot print at all or cannot print a certain font or type of graphic, continue with Step 2.

Step 2: Test Printing in Other Programs

Understanding the scope of the printer problem offers clues about its cause. For example, some printer problems only affect Word, while others 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, 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 discovered in Step 1 of this article that the print error only occurs with certain fonts or graphics, try to reproduce this error in WordPad by applying the same font or inserting the same type of graphic.

The steps for selecting a different font are the same in WordPad as they are in Word.

To insert a picture in WordPad, follow these steps:
  1. On the Insert menu, click Object.
  2. Try one or both of the following:
    • To create a new graphic, select the Create New option, and then choose one of the object types from the list. For example, you can select Microsoft Clip Gallery to insert clip art, or you can select Bitmap Image to create a test bitmap by using the Microsoft Paint program.
    • To insert a graphic from file, select the Create from File option, and then click Browse to select the file.
After you complete your testing in WordPad, you can optionally test the print functions in your Web browser or your other Office programs. You can also try to print a test page for your printer with the following steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, click Print Test Page.
If you discover that you cannot print a test page or you cannot print in several or all of your Windows programs, you are dealing with a printer driver, Windows, or 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
If you discover that the problem is limited to a particular font, it is possible that the error is the result of a damaged font file. Note The steps in the preceding articles are comparable to the steps for testing and reinstalling fonts in Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows Millennium Edition (Me).

If you discover that you can print without error in all of your programs except Word, proceed 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, it is tempting to assume that Word is the cause of the problem. It is important to remember that Word is a very printer-intensive program, which 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 type of graphic, 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 95, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Double-click the Add Printer icon.
  3. Click the Next button on the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard.
  4. Select Local printer, and then click Next.
  5. In the Manufacturers list, select Generic and then click Next.
  6. Select FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  7. Select Yes for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  8. Select No for whether to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  9. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click the Print command.
  10. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select 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 the Next button on the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard.
  4. Select Local printer, and then click Next.
  5. Select FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  6. In the Manufacturers list, select Generic.
  7. In the Printers list, select Generic/Text Only, and then click Next.
  8. Select Yes for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  9. Select Do not share this printer, and then click Next.
  10. Select No for whether to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  11. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click the Print command.
  12. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
Microsoft Windows NT
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Double-click the Add Printer icon.
  3. Select My Computer, and then click Next.
  4. Select FILE for the port, and then click Next.
  5. In the Manufacturers list, select Generic.
  6. In the Printers list, select Generic/Text Only, and then click Next.
  7. Select Yes for whether Windows will use the printer as the default, and then click Next.
  8. Select Not shared, and then click Next.
  9. Select No for whether to print a test page, and then click Finish.
  10. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word, and then click the Print command.
  11. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
If you are receiving 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 printer driver, it is possible that your printer driver is 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, continue with Step 4.

Step 4: Check the Word Program Files and Settings

At this point, you have verified that the printing problem is not limited to a particular document or printer driver, and that it is limited to the Word program.

The next step is to check the Word program by starting with only the default settings. To start with the default settings, start Word by following these steps:
  1. Quit Word, and then quit Outlook if you are using Word as the e-mail editor.
  2. Click Start and then click Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box, click Browse.
  4. In the Browse dialog box, locate WINWORD.EXE. By default, this file is in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office.
  5. Select WINWORD.EXE and then click Open. The file path, enclosed in quotation marks, now appears in the Run dialog box.
  6. In the Open box, move the insertion point after the final quotation marks in the file path.
  7. Type a space, and then type /a.

    The text in the Open box should resemble the following:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WINWORD.EXE" /a
  8. Click OK to start Word with the /a command-line switch, and then try again to print.
If you can print after you start Word with its default settings, you can resolve this problem by permanently resetting Word to its defaults.

If the printing problem continues to occur when you use the default settings in Word, try to 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 or Office CD-ROM if prompted, and then click OK.
If the printing problem continues to occur after you repair the Word or Office installation, the next step is to check for problems in Windows.

Step 5: Check for Problems in Windows

To check for device drivers or memory-resident applications that might be interfering with the Word print function, try to start in Windows Safe mode and test printing to file in Word.

To start in Windows Safe mode, follow the steps for your version of Windows.

Note Windows NT does not have a Safe mode option. If you are running Windows NT, see the steps for ending tasks and stopping anti-virus services on Windows NT.

Windows 95:
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. When you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, press F5.

    Note This message only appears for two seconds. Be prepared to press F5, or you will miss it.
  3. After Windows starts in Safe mode, start Word and then type some text in a new document.
  4. On the File menu, click Print.
  5. In the Print dialog box, select the Print to file check box, and then click OK.
  6. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select My Documents for the location of the file, type Test.prn for the file name, and then click OK.
For more information about Windows 95 Safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
122051 How Windows 95 performs a Safe-Mode start
If the Word printing problem does not occur when you start Windows in Safe mode, you can further narrow down the source of the problem with clean-boot troubleshooting.

For more information about clean-boot troubleshooting, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
243039 How to perform a clean boot in Windows 95
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. 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 or 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, select the Print to file check box, and then click OK.
  10. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select 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 Windows in Safe mode, you can further narrow down the source of the problem with 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 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, select 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, select the Print to file check box, and then click OK.
  7. When the Print to file dialog box appears, select 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 further narrow down the source of the problem with 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 NT:

Windows NT does not have a Safe mode option, but you can end tasks through the Task Manager and stop anti-virus services through the Services applet in Control Panel.

To end running tasks on Windows NT, follow these steps:
  1. On your keyboard, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE.
  2. Click Task Manager.
  3. Select the Applications tab.
  4. Select a program from the list, and then click End Task.
  5. Repeat for all programs.
To stop anti-virus 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 anti-virus software, and then click Stop.
  4. Repeat the previous step if there is more than one service associated with your anti-virus package.
If the Word printing problem does not occur after you end tasks or stop anti-virus services on Windows NT, restart the programs and services one at a time until you determine the service that 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 of this article for information about how to contact a third-party vendor.

REFERENCES

Known Word Print Issues

The following articles describe known printing issues in Microsoft Word 2000. If you find a match for your print error, click the article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304508 Error message: Compile error in hidden module EFunctions
235238 Error message: "Out of stack space" when you use print preview or print multiple pages per sheet
255177 You receive a "There is insufficient memory or disk space. Word cannot display the requested font" error message when you print a Word 2000 document
252651 Error message: The page borders of section <n> are set outside the printable area
247893 Hidden numbering in table causes invalid page fault when printing
191031 Message: One or more margins are set outside the printable area of the page
220460 IPF in Gdi.exe when opening, printing, or repaginating large document
224169 Error message: No printers are installed
211526 Cannot print after canceling using HPDJ820CXi driver
224061 You receive a "The margins of section <n> are set outside the printable area of the page" error message when you print a document in Word 2000
224026 Error message: There is a printer error
223420 Error message: Windows cannot print due to a problem with the current printer setup
223422 Error message: Word cannot bring up the Properties dialog box because the printer returned an error
223421 Error message: Cannot print because there is no default printer selected. Please select a printer
224022 Error message: This is not a valid print range
224046 Error message: Word cannot read the header or footer in this document. Save the document in Rich Text format, close it, and then reopen it
223418 Error message: Word cannot print. There is no printer installed.
209954 Run-time error 1044 printing with no default printer installed
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us
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.

Properties

Article ID: 304422 - Last Review: February 27, 2006 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbgraphic kbprinters kbprint kberrmsg kbinfo KB304422

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