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Word 2016 not printing per Preview RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I have a client who has recently upgraded (via Office365) to Office2016. Hundreds of their Word Documents which used to print okay from Word 2013 are now out of alignment. The problem is they look fine on screen in Word2016 & via Print preview - but the printed output is badly out of alignment. They can't fix it because Word is showing its okay. I have uninstalled and reinstalled Office via the portal but still same problem. If they email them to me - I can see the formatting is wrong and I can fix it. It then prints correctly but this isn't very practical due to there being hundreds of documents and they were all fine with Word 2013. I believe they were originally created in Word 2003 which may be something to do with it. I have tried converting them to .DOCX and tried leaving as .DOC - results are the same. They look fine on screen and fine in Print Preview - but print differently. Tried different printers - results the same. Any idea what to try to resolve it??

    thanks

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 7:42 PM

Answers

  • The problem may be a faulty printer driver and/or a mis-match between the page size in Word and the paper size in the printer. Note also that, because Word uses information from the active printer driver for the page layout, some changes between systems (and even on the same system when using different printer drivers) are to be expected. It's also possible a faulty third-party addin is interfering with the document layout. The fact the format changes between the client's system and yours may just be due to differences in printer drivers, but 'fixing' it on your system should likewise result in the format looking different on their system too.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 10:29 PM

All replies

  • The problem may be a faulty printer driver and/or a mis-match between the page size in Word and the paper size in the printer. Note also that, because Word uses information from the active printer driver for the page layout, some changes between systems (and even on the same system when using different printer drivers) are to be expected. It's also possible a faulty third-party addin is interfering with the document layout. The fact the format changes between the client's system and yours may just be due to differences in printer drivers, but 'fixing' it on your system should likewise result in the format looking different on their system too.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 10:29 PM
  • thanks Paul,

    I will take a closer look at the page size settings and printer driver.

    As far as I know this all happened after upgrading from Office2013 to Office2016.

    I always thought the Print Preview would represent on screen the result you will get if you print on the printer that is currently selected. But that is not the case here as it looks perfect on Screen & during Print Preview but when they print it comes out different - that's what was confusing me!

    thank you for your help and any more info appreciated!

    William

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:42 AM
  • Hi William,

    If this issue appear after upgrading from Office 2013 to Office 2016, I think Paul is correct you need to check the Printer Driver in your environment.

    You can try to remove the Printer remove the printer from your computer and re-add it, then reinstall the latest Printer Driver for your computer.

    Any updates please let us know, we are glad to help you.


    Regards,

    Emi Zhang
    TechNet Community Support


    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 8:53 AM
  • Thanks Emi too.

    I have removed the old driver and installed a new one from manufacturers website. It hasn't made any difference. Also, the users are reporting it also doing the same problem when printing to other (smaller) printers too.

    I've checked the page sizes on both printer and printer driver and both are set to A4

    If what was showing on screen or print preview represented what was being printed - they could work with that and adjust it. The fact that it looks perfect on screen is the problem as they don't know until it has been printed!

    William

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 12:33 PM
  • Have you seen the problem documents on the client's system (not just in the emailed copies you've received) before and after you fixed them? In what sense was the printed output "badly out of alignment" compared to what was seen on screen? What specific changes did you make to the documents?

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 12:55 PM
  • Yes, I experienced the problem 1st hand - but only after the problems had started. They assure me everything printed fine without any problems but now doesn't. What's on screen is not what prints! I left and ran a reinstall of Office from the portal out of hours but it made no difference.

    Things like TXT boxes end up printing as if they were created too small for TXT inside it (truncated). A pages starts to wrap photos onto next page - knocking the following headings out. After about 6 pages the whole document prints a mess.

    When emailed to me - it looks "wrong" and I can edit the document on my computer as WYSIWYG so its easy enough to change a document.

    They cannot edit theirs because its showing perfect on the screen for them. Every Pc that's been upgraded is the same.

    I haven't tried going back to Office2013 yet.

    I have tried taking the original document out of 'compatibility mode' and saving as .docx and xlsx but that doesn't make any difference either.

    thanks
    William

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 1:55 PM
  • At least some of the problems you're describing are likely to be attributable to a change in printer drivers (e.g. because new printers are being used or the driver has been updated). Since Word uses information from the active printer driver to determine the page layout, some changes can occur any time a different printer driver is used (even when the printer is unchanged). That could explain the problems with textboxes and text wrapping to a different page. There have been some major changes to the document layout engine Word uses since the 2003 & earlier days. Significant changes were made with Word 2007 and again with Word 2013. Simply re-saving an older-format document in the newer formats can cause significant layout changes. Even so, that doesn't seem to explain why a document would look well aligned on the client's screen but print "badly out of alignment", yet look "badly out of alignment" on your screen as well. The only thing I can think of that might contribute to that is a missing or corrupt font on the client's system - or perhaps what they're seeing in print really is what Word shows in Print Preview, but they just haven't verified this.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 11:12 PM
  • Thanks for the replies.

    "What they're seeing in print really is what Word shows in Print Preview"

    Unfortunately, no. I have seen it too and what is on screen & on preview is radically different to what comes out the printers. The documents look correct on screen but then they have printed...For example, pictures on a different page, large blocks of blank space (like 10 lines) pushing everything down and spilling over to the next page.

    Its not just one printer but doing it to 3 different makes. Its happening on at least 5 different PCs.

    When I open the same document on my laptop it "shows" this same bad alignment on screen & print preview - so I can correct it. If I could get it to do that on clients computers that would be fine as they can correct it themselves.

    I'm going onsite tomorrow so I will try going back to Word 2013 to check if that still works okay again.

    They have used/saved these documents on Word 2013 for 18 months without any problems. Very strange.

    William


    • Edited by William Hulme Thursday, April 28, 2016 7:23 AM quotes added
    Thursday, April 28, 2016 7:22 AM
  • Evidently, then, something is corrupting the documents - possibly when they're printed. It might be worthwhile obtaining copies of an affected document both before & after it is printed and comparing them to see what, if anything is being changed. For that you might examine a known damaged document and a known good copy from the clients backups to compare them.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 8:00 AM
  • I have 3x copies of some files: before, after printing and a backup copy from last month when it was working perfectly. They are all identical.

    I'm going onsite tomorrow morning to take a closer look and get definitive answers - although not sure what to try!!

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:12 PM
  • Update: I've spend 4Hrs at the office trying to resolve. Only slightly further forward.

    Reverting to the old (wrong for the model!) printer driver helped a bit. Converting the .doc to latest .docx format also helped a bit.

    Uninstalling Office2016 and reverting back to Office 2013 helped more.

    The client can now see WYSIWYG on the screen and Print Preview - which is temporary workable solution.

    Longer term we will need to get to the bottom of it and upgrade all the computers to Office 2016. In a few weeks they will be upgraded to Windows 10 which might knock the formatting out a bit again.

    The big mystery is why the print preview and screen image don't match the printer output!!

    William

    Friday, May 6, 2016 9:23 AM
  • If you're using A4 or Letter paper sizes, hope this helps:

    Go to Options > Advanced, then scroll down to General group.

    Uncheck Scale content for A4 or 8.5"x11" paper sizes.

    Thanks,

    Carl Ellazar




    • Edited by MagniFX Wednesday, January 25, 2017 4:02 AM
    • Proposed as answer by JSWS Sunday, March 26, 2017 4:47 PM
    Wednesday, January 25, 2017 3:24 AM
  • This works, thank you.

    Jonathan

    Sunday, March 26, 2017 4:47 PM
  • It may have worked for you, but was not applicable to the OP's situation. After all, the OP said:

    I've checked the page sizes on both printer and printer driver and both are set to A4.

    Furthermore, the documents looked different in Print preview vs the printed output. Consequently, A4/Letter rescaling was not the OP's issue.


    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Sunday, March 26, 2017 11:15 PM
  • Hello - I am wondering if you ever found a solution.  I am having a similar problem and have already checked the paper size, printer drivers and page scaling options.  I have something on screen with 4 text boxes all rotated 180 degrees so they should be upside down, but when I print only 2 of them are facing the correct way. The other 2 are turned back right side up.  It looks right on the screen and in print preview, but sending it to 2 different printers and trying to save as a pdf has not worked.  I have not recently upgrade to a different version of Office and 3 other documents with similar setups have printed with no problems.  It is a big mystery! 
    Friday, March 31, 2017 3:13 PM
  • What fonts are being used? I ran into the same problem recently with Word 2016: when CFF-type fonts are being used (like Adobe Garamond Pro), the Print Layout and PDF or print (via at least 3 different printers) do not match. When I change to a TTF-type font (like GaramondNo8), the Print Layout and PDFs and printouts all match perfectly.

    This problem had nothing at all to do with printer drivers: the mismatch was between what displayed in Word's Print Layout view and every driver I used (as well as Word's own print to PDF feature).

    To check the font type, examine the font name & version info by double-clicking to open it in the system Fonts folder. The CFF fonts include "PostScript Outlines"; the TTF fonts have "TrueType Outlines".

    This should not happen of course, but after nearly a month of thorough testing, I am confident that it is a bug. You can see my screen shot examples showing the problem in my posts in this thread.


    Eric Fletcher Enthusiastic Word user since v0.9

    Sunday, April 2, 2017 11:51 PM
  • Same problem for me and I checked the Options > Advanced options > Print section (FR version Word 2016) and the option to adjust for A4 was selected (I even unselected it, printed & reselected, no change).

    JEL

    Monday, April 10, 2017 1:38 PM
  • What font's are in use JEL?

    I'm consistently seeing this problem for documents using PostScript outline fonts (like Adobe Garamond Pro), but not for TrueType fonts like Arial. Both font types are OpenType, so are supposed to work in Word. However, with the PostScript outline ones, while the Print Layout and Print Preview views look fine, when they are printed or made into a PDF, the resulting layout is significantly off. This is consistent for several printers and methods to prepare PDFs, so it isn't related to an incorrect printer driver.

    Since this behavior can only be seen if these types of fonts are installed, getting proper answers on these forums is very frustrating. The PostScript outline fonts generally need to be purchased, so many people don't have them installed.

    Moreover, even using the Fonts control panel to see if you have this type of font is not easy, the Font type for both types of font is simply listed as "OpenType". Finding the differences is even less straightforward: the only clue is the tiny print displayed above the sample when you preview a font from the Fonts folder. This screen shot shows the Fonts folder listing and two clips from the font displays for both Adobe Garamond Pro versus Arial:


    In the above, the "PostScript Outlines" font will consistently result in a mis-match between screen and print. When a TrueType Outlines font is used, there is no problem: what I see on the screen matches the printout or PDF.

    You can see a related thread here on Word's Suggestion Box (but so far, the only response is a March 7 2017 comment that they "are working on it"). I hope they can fix it: I've had to redo a 400-page book with a 2nd tier font because my client's fully paid-for font no longer works for this latest version of Word (Office 365; version 1702 build 7870.2031).


    Eric Fletcher Enthusiastic Word user since v0.9

    • Proposed as answer by Charles Kenyon Monday, January 8, 2018 3:15 AM
    Monday, April 10, 2017 5:12 PM
  • Hello Eric & thanks!

    A coworker figured out the issue, when inserting a copy of an image from other Microsoft app, you should save the copied image as an image file (you can do so in Word by right clicking on it and saving it as a .png), then reinserting it into the page.  Then, when you print it, you can see it as it is shown in the print preview and the document.  Strange that even when you don't do this, you can see the image correctly in the Word document and the preview, but the printer driver doesn't see it the same way (at least I assume as mentioned earlier that is the issue).


    JEL

    • Proposed as answer by mimijel Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:04 PM
    Tuesday, April 11, 2017 6:23 AM
  • A solution, THANK YOU!!!!  A little extra work on my end, but it works. Thanks for taking the time to share this fix.
    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 6:33 PM
  • I agree, thank you for this solution. And, at the same time...does anyone else feel like this still isn't a true solution? I am having the same problem and simply can't understand what else could be going on that makes the print preview on screen not display what is printed. It still makes me a little nuts. Tell me I'm not the only one!
    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:35 PM
  • That method may help for images, but will not help if fonts are not being rendered correctly by Word.

    The issue I was addressing happens only when specific types of fonts are used: Word does not calculate the position of characters correctly, so the print preview will not match what is actually printed.

    As of July 2017, the bug is still not fixed, but a procedure described on this forum thread can be applied to get around the problem.


    Eric Fletcher Enthusiastic Word user since v0.9

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:20 PM
  • Adding a bit to the confusion already in this thread...

    Are we talking print view or print preview? These are different. Generally print preview is not editable.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 8:24 PM
  • What is on the screen in 100% scaling MS Word is not what prints out. I've not been in recently to test the workaround given yet.
    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 9:12 PM
  • If a CFF-type font is used (like Adobe's Garamond Pro), the print layout view does not match what is printed. The problem is due to Word interpreting the character metrics for CFF-type fonts differently than OTF-type fonts (although both are valid OpenType fonts). (For more detail, see my answer on this thread.)

    The workaround from Suzanne Barnhill (described here) involves using the VBA Editor to reveal a hidden document compatibility option. It works, but it is complicated and will be beyond many user's comfort levels.

    I'm quite surprised that this has not been addressed by Microsoft, since the users most likely to be using the "pro" fonts are probably corporate clients. Imagine if Word's long-touted WYSIWYG doesn't work as it should when used to prepare a major presentation...


    Eric Fletcher Enthusiastic Word user since v0.9

    • Proposed as answer by William Hulme Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:35 PM
    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:22 PM
  • Indeed, it is the problem of improper handling of PostScript outlines fonts by Word. When I changed the font to a TrueType outline font, it solved the problem. Created another problem though - I had to redesign a lot of documents. :(
    Wednesday, August 2, 2017 5:50 PM
  • Thank you Thank you Eric - this fixed our problem.  It is a Word issue as we the fonts are in use in InDesign and we have no problem with them.  I have downloaded new font versions and it appears to have fixed the problems.  Now to go an update all the documents!!!!!
    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:38 PM
  • Thanks to everyone (especially Eric Fletcher) who has helped with this.

    Update on my original situation: the client was using a Default (Helvetica) font they had purchased few years back and changing that appears to have done it.

    Today they switched to Verdana and reformatted some of their documents and it has resolved the problem so they can all have Word 2016 installed now!

    This article was also helpful for info: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_win10/microsoft-word-2016-prints-differently-from-print/82b15558-2f5e-418a-b69a-79c4c683dc99

    William


    Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:34 PM
  • Dear Eric,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I still have 50 pages of images with text to clean up (and this will take me two weeks) but without your input I would have been completely stuck. I am only left wondering who should have sorted this out before the latest releases - Microsoft, Adobe (for Garamond), or Canon (the printer maker)?

    But many thanks again!

    Iain Laird

    Monday, October 16, 2017 10:58 AM
  • Pretty sad, 2013 is better than 2016.  I am stuck trying to print labels.  Shows up fine, then either gets stuck in the spooler or disappears after that.  WHAT JUNK!  No wonder I did not want to change (it is a DOWN grade) from Office 2003 !!! Uninstalled, reinstalled printer - don't try that blame game, test page prints fine defect Word 2016 just makes nothing but time suck.  Open office time I guess.  This can not continue....
    Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:20 AM
  • I have checked the fonts in my document. They are ttf files, with TrueType Outlines. But I am still dealing with this problem. What appears on Microsoft Word is not the same as what appears in print or a PDF (regardless of how I make the PDF; I have tried various apps and Word's Save As option). 

    UPDATE: I tried the most standard fonts like TNR and Arial, but it did not help. The problem was solved only after I reverted to Office 2010, which I was using before. 

    MYSTERY SOLVED: The problem is solved in Word 2016 for me. I went to Options > Advanced, then Show Document Content > Numeral and chose Arabic. I had previously chosen Contextual. After I changed it back to Arabic, what I see in Word matches exactly with pdf and print.


    • Edited by nahri Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:06 AM
    Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:08 AM
  • @Paul; I am experiencing a slight variation of this problem. My document, 50+ pages, how all good in print preview dialog window. When the document is printed every other page is off center, shifted to the right.

    In other words, odd number pages are centered, even number pages are off-centered. 

    Any help is much appreciated. 

    Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:23 PM
  • @Eric; I am experiencing a slight variation of this problem. My document, 50+ pages, show all good in print preview dialog window. When the document is printed every other page is off center, shifted to the right.

    In other words, odd number pages are centered, even number pages are off-centered. 

    Would this still be explained with the font issue?

    Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:24 PM
  • Wordnut: I doubt if the fonts would affect the text area alignment. Check your Page Setup: what you describe would happen if you have "Mirror margins" turned on, and either have different left & right (inside and outside) margins or a gutter value set — although that should show in a print preview.

    Eric Fletcher Enthusiastic Word user since v0.9


    • Edited by EricQC Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:57 PM edited
    Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:56 PM
  • EricQC,

    Your research and analysis confirm what we are seeing at my place of work. Thanks for the answer to something that has baffled us since we upgraded to Office 2016 and Word 10, i.e. the behavior of Postscript Outlines fonts versus TrueType Oulines fonts and the miss-match that occurs with Postscript Outlines fonts between Word print preview and actual printed output.

    Friday, February 9, 2018 8:16 PM
  • It is NOT your printer or program. It's Microsoft programs. Easy fix!!! Save as PDF then print or email. Hope this helps....as I've wasted many hours with this problem as well but seem to have problem solved.
    Friday, March 2, 2018 12:41 AM
  • I found the solution for my users was as follows on the printer properties dialog there is an effects tab. This has a "Resizing options" box and defaults to "Actual Size" which you'd think was fine. Changing this to either "print document on:" "A4" and ticking "scale to fit" (even though it's scaling 100%) or selecting "% of actual size" and setting it to 100%. Seems to fix the issue. 

    Why scaling a document to 100% or forcing it to scale to the same size as it's given fixes the issue I don't know but something is wrong with the "Actual size" option. 

    Friday, November 2, 2018 11:54 AM
  • I HAVE SOLVED document printing alignment issues 
    i simply removed updates ..

    Go to Start, enter Run, and then select Run. 
    Enter Appwiz.cpl, and then select OK. 
    Select View installed updates. 
    In the list of updates, locate and select KB3178662, and then select Uninstall.

    then everything is fine.

    best of luck

    Monday, August 5, 2019 9:14 AM
  • I HAVE SOLVED document printing alignment issues 
    i simply removed updates ..

    Go to Start, enter Run, and then select Run. 
    Enter Appwiz.cpl, and then select OK. 
    Select View installed updates. 
    In the list of updates, locate and select KB3178662, and then select Uninstall.

    then everything is fine.

    best of luck

    Monday, August 5, 2019 9:15 AM
  • I HAVE SOLVED document printing alignment issues 
    i simply removed updates ..

    Go to Start, enter Run, and then select Run. 
    Enter Appwiz.cpl, and then select OK. 
    Select View installed updates. 
    In the list of updates, locate and select KB3178662, and then select Uninstall.

    then everything is fine.

    best of luck

    Monday, August 5, 2019 9:16 AM
  • Since KB3178662 didn't exist until years after the OP's problem manifested, your 'solution' cannot apply to those issues...

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 7:09 AM
  • YES you correct 

    but when i remove KB3178662 upates from my PC ,,,problem solved in my PC ,,word print perfect

    but same thing i check in another pc,,,, there is no KB3178662 updates ,,,,

    thanks

    • Proposed as answer by George2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:31 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by George2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:31 PM
    Thursday, September 5, 2019 6:47 AM
  • Similar problem with new Word 2016 installation and label printing: standard Avery LR7163 labels appear fine on screen but print off their specified area, cutting across the label boundaries (so the paper goes to the bin). Have checked everything with a ruler down to the mm so it is a Word/printer and not paper problem. Used to work fine in Word 2010.
    Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34 PM
  • This is really NOT the same problem. I would suggest posting a new question about it on the Word Answers forum.

    You will be much more likely to get a quick solution by doing so. It matters what your Operating System is.

    Make sure you have an up-to-date printer driver. Read all of the responses in this thread if you want.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Saturday, October 19, 2019 11:08 PM