How to troubleshoot printing problems in Word

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Summary

Printing problems in Microsoft Office Word 2010, Microsoft Office Word 2007, or in Microsoft Office Word 2003 can be specific to particular documents and templates. You may have one or more documents that may not print or that cause some type of error message. 

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How to prevent document-specific printing problems

Print other Microsoft Word documents

If you have problems when you try to print a particular document, close the problem document, and then try to print a different document. If you cannot print other documents, create a new document, and then try to print it. To do this, follow these steps.


Word 2010
  1. Close all Word 2010 documents.
  2. Click the File Button, and then click New.
  3. Under Available Templates, click Blank document, and then click Create.
  4. Type some text in the new document.
  5. Click the File Button, Print menu and then click the Print button.

Word 2007
  1. Close all Word 2007 documents.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New.
  3. Under Blank and recent, click Blank document, and then click Create.
  4. Type some text in the new document.
  5. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Print, and then click Print.
  6. In the Print dialog box, click OK.
Word 2003
  1. Close all Word 2003 documents that are open.
  2. On the File menu, click New.
  3. In the New Documents task pane, click Blank Document.
  4. In your new blank Word 2003 document, type some text.
  5. On the File menu, click Print.
  6. In the Print dialog box, click OK.
If you can print this new document, you have determined that the problem is specific to particular Word documents. Go to the "Create a new custom template" section.

If you cannot print this new document, go to the "Rename the Normal.dot template" section.

Rename the Normal.dot template

If you cannot print the new Word document that you created in the "Print other Microsoft Word documents" section, rename the Word global template (Normal.dot).
Note In Word 2010 and Word 2007, the Word global template is named Normal.dotm.
For additional information about renaming the Normal.dot global template, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
822005 WD2002: How to reset user options and registry settings in Word 2003
To rename the Normal.dot template, follow these steps.

Microsoft Windows 2000
  1. Quit Word.
  2. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  3. In the Search for files or folders named box, type Normal.dot.

    Change the setting in the Look in box to drive C (or to local hard disk drives if you have multiple hard disks).
  4. Click Search Now.
  5. For each occurrence of the Normal.dot template that you find, rename it Normal.old. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Normal.
    2. On the File menu, click Rename.
    3. Type Normal.old, and then press ENTER.
Microsoft Windows XP
  1. Quit Word.
  2. Click Start, and then click Search.
  3. Click All files and folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name box, type Normal.dot.
  5. Change the setting in the Look in box to Local Disk C: (or to Local Hard Disk drives if you have multiple hard disks), and then click Search.
  6. For each occurrence of the Normal.dot template that you find, rename it Normal.old. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Normal.
    2. On the File menu, click Rename.
    3. Type Normal.old, and then press ENTER.
Microsoft Windows 7
  1. Quit Word.
  2. Click the Start button.
  3. In the Search Programs and Files box, type Normal.dot or Normal.dotm depending on your version of Word.
  4. For each occurrence of the Normal.dot or Normal.dotm template that you find, rename it Normal.old. To do this, follow these steps: 
    1. Click Normal.
    2. On the File menu, click Rename.
    3. Type Normal.old, and then press ENTER.
You can now print new documents that are created from the new global (blank document) template (Normal.dot). However, existing documents that were created by means of your old Normal.dot file may not print. If this is the case, go to the "Print the problem document" section to resolve problems with these documents.

If you cannot print this new document, there may be a problem that prevents Word from printing. If this is the case, go to the "Print the problem document" section.

Determine if the problem documents were created from the same custom template

You may still not be able to print particular Word documents. Examine the problem documents to determine if they were created from the same custom template. To determine which template created the problem document, follow these steps:

Word 2010
  1. Open a document that you cannot print.
  2. On the Developer tab, click Document Template in the Templates section.
  3. On the Templates tab, look in the Document template box.

Word 2007
  1. Open a document that you cannot print.
  2. On the Developer tab, click Document Template in the Templates section.
  3. On the Templates tab, look in the Document template box.
Word 2003
  1. Open a document that you cannot print.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Templates and Add-ins.
The template that created the document is listed in the Document template box. If the template that is listed is Normal.dot, go to the "Print the problem document" section to resolve the problem with this document.

Create a new custom template

If the template that is listed in the Document template box is not the Normal.dot template, create a new custom template. To do this, follow these steps:

Word 2010
  1. Click the File Button, and then click New.
  2. Under Available Templates, click Blank document, and then click Create.
  3. In the new, blank Word document, create your template the way that you want it to appear.
  4. Click the File Button, click on the Save As button and then in the Save as Type dropdown menu, select Word Template.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the new template, and then click Save.
  6. Click the File Button, and then click Close to close the new template.
  7. Click the File Button, and then click New.
  8. In the New Document dialog box, click My templates under AvailableTemplates.
  9. Click the template that you created in step 5, and then click OK,

Word 2007
  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New.
  2. Under Blank and recent, click Blank document, and then click Create.
  3. In the new, blank Word document, create your template the way that you want it to appear.
  4. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Save As, and then click Word Template.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the new template, and then click Save.
  6. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Close to close the new template.
  7. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New.
  8. In the New Document dialog box, click My templates under Templates.
  9. Click the template that you created in step 5, and then click OK,
Word 2003
  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. On the New Documents task pane, click Blank Document.
  3. In the new, blank Word document, type, and then create your template the way that you want it to appear.
  4. On the File menu, click Save As.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, type a new file name for your new custom template, change the Save as type box to Document Template, and then click Save.
  6. On the File menu, click Close to close your new custom template.
  7. On the File menu, click New.
  8. In the Templates task pane, click the new custom template that you created.
  9. Type any additional text that you want, and then on the File menu, click Print.
  10. In the Print dialog box, click OK.
If the document that you created from your new custom template is printed correctly, you have determined that the problem involves a corrupted custom template. You must create a new custom template for new documents. However, the documents that are created from your corrupted custom template still may not print correctly. If this is the case, go to the "Print the problem document" section to resolve problems with these documents.

Print the problem document

You have reached this step because you have determined that a corrupted document is preventing you from printing the document correctly.

For additional information about how to troubleshoot document printing, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
826845 How to troubleshoot a print failure in Microsoft Office Word 2003

How to troubleshoot additional printing problems

You have reached this section because you cannot print any document from Microsoft Word. Use one or more of the following methods to correct this problem.

Reinstall the printer driver

A corrupted printer driver may cause printing problems in Word. If this is the case, delete and reinstall your printer driver. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Windows programs that are running.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.

    Note In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel. In Windows 7, click the Start button and then click Control Panel. Click on View Devices and Printers
  3. Right-click the default printer that you have installed, and then click Delete.

    Note: In Windows 7 right-click on the default printer that you have installed and then click Remove Device.

    You are prompted with the following, where PrinterName is the name of the printer that you have installed:
    Are you sure you want to delete the printer PrinterName?
  4. Click Yes.

    Note You may be prompted with the following when you delete your printer driver:
    Some files were used only for this printer and are no longer needed. Would you like to delete these files now?
    If you receive this message, click Yes.
  5. Quit all Microsoft Windows programs that are running.
  6. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.

    Note In Windows XP and Windows 7, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  7. After Windows removes your installed default printer and its associated files, reinstall the printer. To do this, follow the steps that are appropriate for your operating system.

    Windows 2000
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
    2. In the Printers dialog box, double-click Add Printer.
    3. Follow the steps in the Add Printer Wizard to reinstall your Windows 2000 printer driver.
    Windows XP
    1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
    2. In the Printers and Faxes dialog box, click Add a printer under Printer Tasks.
    3. Follow the steps in the Add Printer Wizard to reinstall your Windows XP printer driver.
    Windows 7
    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click on ViewDevices and Printers.
    2. In the Devices and Printers dialog box, click Add a printer.
    3. Follow the steps in the Add Printer Wizard to reinstall your Windows 7 printer driver.

    Use the disk that was provided by your printer manufacturer, and install it according to the installation instructions. For more information about how to install the printer driver that is provided with your printer, contact your printer manufacturer.
For information about how to contact your vendor, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors


Delete the Word Data key

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Printing problems in Word may be caused by a corrupted Word Data key in the Windows registry. If this is the case, you must delete the Data key. When you restart Word, Word automatically re-creates the Word Data key.

Important After you delete the Word Data key, some settings in Word are reset to their default settings.

To delete the Word Data key in the Windows registry, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Windows programs that are running.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Locate the following registry key:

    • Word 2010
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word
    • Word 2007
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word
    • Word 2003
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word
  5. Expand the Word subkey, and then click the Data subkey.
  6. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  7. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  8. On the Registry menu, click Exit.
After you delete the Word Data key, restart Word, and then try to print your Word document. If you can print your document, you have resolved the problem.



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

Properties

Article ID: 826862 - Last Review: December 14, 2012 - Revision: 10.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
Keywords: 
kbprint kbhowtomaster kbhowto KB826862

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