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Troubleshoot printing problems in Word

  • 11 minutes to read
  • Applies to:
    Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007

This article describes how to diagnose printing errors in Microsoft Word. It also explains how to isolate the cause of the printing error and fix the problem.

Examples of printing errors include the following situations, among others:

  • You receive error messages and other messages when you try to print a file.
  • The printer is not responding.
  • Files are printed as meaningless symbols.


This article does not address issues with printer output such as: B. Problems with positioning envelopes, missing graphics, and incorrect page numbers.

To fix a printing error in Word, you need to determine the cause. Causes usually fall into one of the following categories:

  • Corrupted files or corrupted content in documents
  • The Word program itself
  • The printer driver
  • The Windows operating system
  • Connectivity or hardware

Do not make assumptions about what is causing the printing problem. Instead, rely on systematic troubleshooting to uncover the cause.

Use the following tests to help determine what is causing your printing problem.

Step 1: Test print in other documents

Corrupted files or documents that contain damaged graphics or fonts can cause Word to fail to print. Before you reinstall drivers or software, test that Word can print at all. To do this, follow the steps below for your version of Word.

Word 2007 to Word 2019

  1. Open a new document in Word.

  2. Type on the first line of the document = edge (10) then press the Enter key:


    The command = edge (10) inserts 10 paragraphs of sample text.

  3. Try to print the document.

  4. When the document prints successfully, switch to a different font, or add clip art, a table, or a drawing object.

    • To change the font, follow these steps:

      1. Highlight the sample text.
      2. Open the tab begin.
      3. Select in the group font select a different font from the font list.
    • To insert clip art, do the following:

      1. Click the tab Insert, and choose Online images out. (Click in Word 2010 and Word 2007 on the tab Insert, and then select Clip art out.)
      2. Leave in the task area Clip art the field Search text blank, and then click Come on. (Enter in Word 2013 a term in the search field Clip art from and then click Search.)
      3. Right-click one of the images and select Insert out.
      4. Close the task pane Clip art.
    • To insert a table, do the following:

      1. click on Insert, then on table and then on Insert table.
      2. Enter the number of columns and rows you want, and then click OK.
    • To insert a drawing object, do the following:

      1. click on Insert, and then click to shape.
      2. Double click on one of the shapes.
  5. Test the printing function again.

The success or failure of these tests shows whether Word can generally print. These tests can also give you clues about certain fonts or graphics that Word cannot print.

If the test document does not report any errors, but you still cannot print the original document, your original document may be damaged. Even if you can print the same document on another computer, this situation can occur because the symptoms of file corruption do not necessarily appear on all computers.

For information about troubleshooting corrupted Word documents, see Troubleshoot corrupted documents in Word.

If Word can't print at all, or if it can't print a particular font or graphic, go to the next step.

Step 2: Test printing in other programs

The extent of the printing problem can reveal its cause. For example, some printing problems affect only Word, while other printing problems affect several or all Windows-based programs.

The following tests can show whether this problem affects programs other than Word.

Testing in WordPad

Print a plain text file

  1. click on begin, point to Programs, then on equipmentand click WordPad.


    • (Press in Windows 8 the Windows keyto go to the home screen, enter WordPad and then click the WordPad-Symbol.)
    • Show in Windows 7 on All programs, point to equipment, and then select WordPad out.
  2. In the blank WordPad document, type: this is a test.

  3. Select in the menu file the option To press out.

  4. click on OK or on To pressto print the file.

Print certain fonts or images

If Step 1 showed that the printing problem only affects certain fonts or certain graphics, try reproducing this problem in WordPad. To do this, use the same font or insert the same type of graphic image. (To select a different font in WordPad, use the same method as in Word.)

To insert a graphic picture in WordPad, do the following:

  1. Do you click in the menu Insert on object.


    In Windows 8 and Windows 7 choose Insert object on the tab begin out.

  2. Do one or both of the following:

    • To create a new graphic image, click on Create new, and then select one of the object types from the list. For example, click Paintbrush pictureto create a test bitmap in the Microsoft Paint program.
    • To insert a graphic image from a file, click on Create from file, and then click Searchto select the file.
  3. Select in the menu file the option To press out.

  4. click on OK or To press.

Printing from other programs

If you still can't print from WordPad, test the printing capabilities in either your web browser or your other ones OfficePrograms.

Print a test page on the printer

You can also try printing a test page on your printer. Follow these steps to print a test page:

  1. click on begin, point to Settings, and then click printer.


    • Press in Windows 8 the Windows key, to the Home screen to arrive, enter printer one, choose Settings and then devices and printer out.
    • Click below Windows 7 on begin, then select devices and printer out.
    • Click below Windows Vista on begin and then on printer.
  2. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then select properties out.

  3. Click the tab Generally on Print a test page.

If you cannot print a test page, or you cannot print from more or all of the Windows-based programs, the problem might be with a printer driver, hardware, operating system, or Internet connection.

If the problem is limited to a specific font, a damaged font file could be the cause. For more information about testing and reinstalling fonts, see How to Install or Remove a Font in Windows.

If you can print easily from any program except Word, go to the next step.

You may be able to use Windows Printing Help and Troubleshooter to resolve the printing problem:

  1. click on begin > Settings.

  2. Give Printer problems and then select Identify and fix printing problems out.


    • To resolve printer connectivity and printing issues in Windows 10 To fix, see Fix printer connection and printing problems in Windows 10.
    • In Windows 8 and Windows 7 you can run the Printing Troubleshooting Wizard by clicking begin select, enter "print" and then Identify and fix printing problems choose.
    • In Windows Vista choose begin and subsequently Help and support and search for "printing" or "troubleshoot printing".

Step 3: Test print with different printer drivers

If Word is the only program on your computer that cannot print, be aware that Word is a very printer-intensive program. As a result, a small problem in the printer driver usually affects Word before it affects other programs.

There are several different drivers that you can test to determine if the problem is caused by the printer driver. If the printing problem with Word only occurs when printing documents that use a specific font or graphic image, try printing them on a different printer.

If another printer is not available, contact the manufacturer to see if there is an updated version of the driver or a different driver for your printer model.

If the printing problem occurs with Word even when you print documents that consist of only text, you can use a generic plain text printer driver to test printing in Word. To do this, follow the steps below for your version of Windows.


For 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.

Test print in Windows 10

  1. Enter im Windows search box the string printer and then select Printers & scanners out.
  2. click on Add a printer or scanner.
  3. Under Printers & Scanners, select the option General / Text only out.
  4. Open a Word document, and then try the printer option General / Text only to print.
  5. Name the file Test.prn and save it in the folder Documents.

Test printing in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Do one of the following as appropriate for your situation:

    • For Windows 8 and Windows 7: Click on begin and then on devices and printer.
    • Click in Windows Vista on begin and then on printer.
  2. On the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard, choose add Printer out.

  3. On the first screen of the Add Printer Wizard, click Add a local printer.

  4. Make sure to check the box Use existing connection is checked, change the dropdown option to File: (Print to file), and then select Further out.

  5. Click in the list Manufacturer on Generic and then on Further.

  6. Keep the default printer name, click Further and then on Complete.

  7. When the driver installation is complete, open a document in Word and do the following depending on your situation:

    • For Word 2013 and newer versions: Select from the menu file the option To press out.
    • For Word 2010: Click the printer drop-down menu, then click To press.
    • For Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office button and then on To press.
    • For other versions of Word: Activate the check box output in dataand click OK.
  8. Change the location to My document and name the file Test.prn.

  9. Choose OK or To press off (depending on your Word version).

If you receive an error message in Word when you try to print files that contain only text, but you do not receive the error message when you print with the generic plain text printer driver, your printer driver may be damaged. If so, contact the manufacturer for help removing the printer driver and install an updated version.

If the printing problem occurs with a different printer driver, go to the next step.

Step 4: Test Word program files and settings

After verifying that the printing problem is not limited to a specific document or printer driver, and that the problem is limited to the Word program, test the Word program by resetting the user options.

For more information about how to reset user options, see Reset user options and registry settings in Word.

If the printing problem persists, run Detect and Repair to reinstall the missing or damaged program files. Around Detect and Repair To do this, do the following for your version of Word.

Word 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010

  1. Quit all OfficePrograms.
  2. Choose begin off, and then type Add Remove a.
  3. Open the option Add or remove programs.
  4. click on Change or remove programs, then on Microsoft Office (Microsoft Office Word) or your version of Office or Word that is in the list Currently installed programs appears, and then click To change.
  5. click on Repair or Repair Word (Repair Office), and then click Continue or Further.

Word 2007

  1. start Word 2007.
  2. click on the Microsoft OfficeButton and then on Word options.
  3. click on resources, then on diagnosis, and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you still have the printing problem after repairing your Word or Office installation, go to the next step.

Step 5: testing for problems in Windows

Start Windows in Safe mode, and then test printing to a file in Word to check for device drivers or memory-resident programs that might be interfering with Word printing. To start Windows in Safe Mode, follow the steps for your version of Windows.

Testing for problems in Windows 10

To learn how to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, see Start Windows 10 PCs in Safe Mode.

Test for problems in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista

  1. Remove all DVDs, CDs, floppy disks, and all other external media from the computer, and then restart the computer.

  2. click on begin, click the arrow next to the Lock icon and then on Start anew.


    Click in Windows 8 in the Charms menu Settings, on On off and then on Start anew.

  3. When you restart your computer, keep the F8 key pressed.


    You have to F8 key Press before the Windows logo is displayed. When you see the Windows logo, you need to restart your computer. To do this, wait for the Windows logon prompt to appear, then shut down and restart your computer.

  4. Use on the screen Advanced startup options the arrow keys to select the option Safe mode then press the Enter key.

  5. Log on to your computer using a user account with administrator rights.

If the Word printing problem does not occur when you start Windows in Safe Mode, use the clean boot troubleshooter to determine the cause of the problem.

For more information about how to perform a clean restart in Windows, see How to perform a clean restart in Windows.

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