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Troubleshooting Printing Errors in Word 2007

written by: John Garger•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 6/15/2010

One of the most common errors found in Microsoft Word 2007 is problems with printing. Learn how to troubleshoot printing problems specific to Word 2007.

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    Millions of people rely on Microsoft’s popular Word 2007 word processor to do daily typing and printing tasks. When Word 2007 fails to print, its usefulness to the user drops to nearly nothing. Although a stable program as programs go, even Word 2007 sometimes needs a little troubleshooting to fix minor problems such as printing errors.

    Troubleshooting Word 2007 printing errors is a two-step process. You must proceed scientifically and check one thing at a time so you can learn what is responsible for the error. First, you must determine whether Word 2007 is responsible for the printing error. Second, you must troubleshoot Word 2007 to restore printing capabilities to your computer.

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    Is Word 2007 Responsible for Your Printing Errors?

    It is possible that Word 2007 is not the only program having trouble printing documents. The easiest way to determine this is to open another program and try to print a document. One way to do this in Windows XP is to open Notepad (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad), type a few lines, and try to print the document. If the document prints, you know it is only Word 2007 that is having trouble printing. Assuming that the document did print in another program, you now must troubleshoot problems specific to Word 2007.

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    How to Determine the Source of Word 2007 Printing Errors

    Although you have eliminated the possibility that the printing error is due to the printer or some other source, you still have to troubleshoot the error specific to Word 2007. However, Word 2007 may not be the culprit. It is possible that the printer driver is at fault. Follow the steps outlined below to continue with the troubleshooting process.

    First, determine that Word 2007 is able to see your printer. In Word, click on the Office Button (upper left of the screen) and click on Print. Be sure that the printer with which you wish to print your document is the default printer (the one that shows up in the “Name" drop-down box) or that at least your printer is present in the drop-down box. Often, when people install a new printer, they forget to uninstall old printer drivers. It is possible that you left your old printer or some other printer as the default.

    Second, make certain your printer drivers are up to date. If your printer was manufactured before Word 2007 was released, it is possible that the printer drivers that shipped with your printer are not compatible with Word. Go to the manufacturer’s website and see if an updated printer driver is available. Install the driver and see if your printing errors disappear.

    Third, it is possible that your printer drivers have become corrupted. The solution is to simply uninstall and then reinstall the drivers. Be sure to restart the computer between the uninstall and reinstall so that any printer drivers still in your computer’s memory are wiped clean. Also, use any updated printer drivers available at the manufacturer’s website rather than the disk of drivers that shipped with your printer.

    Fourth, if the solutions above fail, it may be necessary to reinstall Word 2007 itself. Sometimes Word 2007, through no fault of either Word or Microsoft, becomes corrupted on your hard drive. A complete reinstall often fixes the problem. This is especially true the longer it has been since the original installation of Word 2007. Again, be sure to restart your computer between the uninstallation and installation of any program.

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    Conclusion

    The steps in troubleshooting printer errors in Word 2007 include determining whether the error is only experienced in Word 2007 versus other programs. If other programs do not have the printing error, you can proceed to troubleshoot Word 2007 specifically. Some of the most common Word 2007 printing errors include missing drivers, out-of-date drivers, and corrupted printer drivers or programs. Following the steps outlined in this document, you can troubleshoot the most common causes of printing errors in Word 2007.

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    Related Articles

    For more Word 2007 troubleshooting tips, check out the Bright Hub articles How to Troubleshoot Word 2007 Errors and How to Recover Content from Damaged Documents in Word 2007.