This is not a comprehensive
of printing problems and printer formatting issues. However, it
is intended to grow as more "interesting" printer output
problems are resolved.
Some things to
1. Is it a printer problem
-- or something else?
If a document prints
as you expect but appears different on screen from the printed copy, it
might not be the printer.
• Could it be a damaged
("corrupt") document or template?
- This is
often more likely than a printer problem. See Repairing
WordPerfect documents and templates - How to find and fix common
it be an incorrect display setting for your screen?
- Sometimes the current zoom
is not set (View, Zoom) to what you expected. This can happen
accidentally if you hold down the <Ctrl> key while rotating the
mouse wheel in Page or Draft mode.
- The display of some fonts on
screen can benefit by changing the value of the display metrics your
WordPerfect is using. (This
is a WordPerfect method where line endings are determined by
screen resolution and the appearance of the text on screen.) This value can be changed with the startup
switch, /DM. Some users find that setting this switch to a value
between 90 and 95 cures some display problems such as normal text appearing bolded or words appearing as
if they run together. [Ed.: This switch was not included
in some early versions of WordPerfect.]
some text simply be hidden from view (but still print)? For
example: View, Hidden Text might be disabled.
2. Is the printer turned on? Is it
available to your computer?
understand that WordPerfect makes much heavier use of the printer
(actually the printer driver;
see below) than most other programs to provide true WYSIWYG ("What You
See is What You Get") on your screen.
Check to make sure the printer is
turned on and it is available to your computer.
allows setting up User Profiles (see here for more). Each User Account can have one or more Profiles. Some use this feature to set up a separate
user profile for when printers are not available, such as when they are disconnected
from a network.]
3. Could it be a font
Some "printer" problems might be
due to a missing or corrupt font, even if the printer is still
Fonts can be hardware fonts
(i.e., built into the printer and often called "printer fonts," and
which display an icon next to their name in WordPerfect's Fonts dialog
that looks like a tiny printer -- such as you might see with some
the Courier font). Or
they can be software fonts, installed in Windows. [Tip: To reinstall standard Windows
fonts see the Microsoft support site here.]
• If a font is missing, WordPerfect
will substitute what it thinks
is a close match; this might not be obvious until something appears
"strange" -- such as
- text "pushed together," or
- text that extends beyond the
- text that appears faint or faded
in some (or all) areas, or
- text justification that is not
what you expect.
• Try printing with a different
Windows font. (Tip:
If you need a software version of Courier that is darker than the
typical Courier, try downloading and installing the
free Dark Courier font from the http://www.hp.com/ site.)
• Note that fonts can be specified in
the body text of the document as well as "upstream" in the default template.
(WordPerfect is a "stream oriented" program, where codes take effect
until discontinued, replaced, or removed by another code.) If you can't
find a font problem in the document, try editing the default (or
custom) template, as discussed in WordPerfect
• For other formatting issues see Why some documents seem to "spontaneously" or
automatically reformat themselves when they are opened, printed, faxed,
or shared between users. There are settings in WordPerfect that can
cause reformatting, which can be mistaken for a problem with the
4. Is your WordPerfect program up
to date ("patched")?
• Updating to the latest
version and "build" of WordPerfect Office may solve some printer
issues. Information on updating may be found here.
5. Could it be a custom print
setting in WordPerfect?
• Most versions of WordPerfect have
an option to save various printer settings via an option on the
Print dialog (File, Print, Settings (and Edit Settings)). Sometimes
these are set by users and then forgotten until something seems to go
wrong in printing, or until another user tries to print without knowing
what custom settings are in effect.
Search your WordPerfect Help (F1
key) for "saving print settings." (WordPerfect X5 and later versions
have an updated Reference Center that contains a PDF User Guide with
For example, to restore the program's default print
settings: Click File, Print, and click the Main tab. In the Settings
list box, choose Application Default. Click the Edit settings button,
and click on Restore.
• Printing from the wrong tray? See
"How WordPerfect 'talks' to your printer's trays and manual feed slot" here.
6. Could it be an automatic
reformatting issue in WordPerfect?
• See: "Why some documents seem to 'spontaneously' or
automatically reformat themselves when they are opened, printed, faxed,
or shared between users" here.
7. Could it be the printer or a printer driver? [See below for "What is a printer driver?"]
quick and easy test of the current printer driver.
• This method, recommended in
2013 on Corel's OfficeCommunity.com, is to change the default printer
temporarily to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer (present
on Windows since Windows XP/sp2) via the Windows Control Panel
(Devices and Printers).
Just right-click on its icon and choose "Set as
default printer," then reboot your system (just to be safe) and see if
the problem still exists. If so, it could be a problem with your
previous printer driver. [A similar technique, recommended for
years on WordPerfect Universe, uses the Apple Laserwriter
printer driver, present on all Windows systems. This is a "known-good"
driver, so you could temporarily install it and set it as the default
while testing for the problem. For more, see this
thread on WordPerfect Universe.]
For problems that might involve
the printer such as -
• slow opening (loading) of the
program or documents;
• failure to load ("failure to launch");
• low (or insufficient) memory
error messages when starting WordPerfect [see article 3521
in the Corel Knowledgebase];
video (or video-vs-printout) problems;
... see the Corel Knowledgebase
is slow to open
Knowledgebase article 3510:
"This can happen when there is at least one printer in the Windows
Control Panel listed as Offline or Not Ready. This is due to WordPerfect trying to
aquire page definitions from a printer that it cannot connect to but
[is] listed on your Control Panel as installed. To resolve this
issue, remove the reference to the offline printer(s) from your Windows
Control Panel." [Again, since WordPerfect makes greater use of printer
drivers than many other programs to produce true WYSIWYG ("What You See is What You Get") output
to your screen, it can be affected by printer driver issues
that other programs might not notice.
will not open.
Again it might be a printer driver issue, especially if the printer
driver's file on your disk is damaged. Or it might be another problem,
such as those listed below.
• The Print button is greyed
(grayed) out. [See also the next section below,
which has been reported to fix this problem]
If you try to select (or set options for) a printer with no document on
screen, WordPerfect will automatically enable the checkbox, "Document
on disk," in File, Print, Advanced tab.
As 'CyndyZ' stated (here)
on WordPerfect Universe: "[This] is exactly what should happen when you
bring up the Print dialog when there is a new blank document on screen
- WP knows there is nothing there to print, so it will (or should)
offer to print a document on disk" instead - it checks that box and
waits for you to pick a document to print (use the browse button to the
right of that field); when you do that, the Print button would become
available. This should not happen, of course, if there is a document
on-screen when you bring up the Print dialog."
[Update 6/21/11: The
problem with the "Document on Disk" checkbox retaining its
enabled state has been resolved in WPX5, Service Pack 2 (i.e., version
What else can you do?
Here are some things that are often suggested:
• Troubleshooting printing
problems with WordPerfect.
See the information in the Corel article "Troubleshooting Printing problems with WordPerfect®". The article (written for WordPerfect 9 and later) contains various
troubleshooting steps and solutions such as:
• clear the print queue because
"a jammed print queue will prevent WordPerfect from opening or will
cause the application to stall while attempting to print";
• remove any offline printers
[see previous item above about "slow launching"];
• restore WordPerfect stored
• add an emulation (printer)
• (for WP10+) add a shortcut to
the WordPerfect print engine in the Windows startup folder; and
and reinstall your printer's printer driver. [See the article for details.]
¤ What is a printer driver? A printer driver is
a small software module supplied by the printer manufacturer and is
installed when you install your printer. Printer drivers function to
"talk" to a specific printer and are also heavily used by WordPerfect
to match the screen display with the printer's output to produce true
WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") on your monitor. Printer
driver information, along with a lot of other information, is stored
with the document.
Note: Most printer
manufacturers give instructions on their sites about deleting old
drivers and installing new ones. Generally, installing a new or updated
printer driver is as easy as downloading a file from the manufacturer
and double-clicking on it. Typically it then will set up some files in
a separate (temporary) folder and install the printer driver from
there. Usually this takes only a minute or two.
reverting to an earlier version of the driver is better. For example,
Many users find that the HP PCL 5e driver works better than the HP PCL
6 driver (but this author has found at least one case where the
opposite was true). Both versions usually can be installed at the same
time; they will show up in the File, Print dialog as separate entries.]
More precisely, here is a
way to do delete and reinstall a printer driver in Windows XP
(note that the procedure may differ slightly in other operating
systems -- see Footnote 1 below for methods
reported to work in removing old printer drivers in Windows 7
-- so if you are unsure of how to proceed you should check the printer
manufacturer's website and/or the Microsoft support site for
First, obtain the
latest printer driver for your model of printer and for your
operating system from the printer manufacturer's web site. (The
installation CD that came with the printer might be out of date --
especially for Windows 7 systems.)
Then, in Windows XP
(for Windows 7 see footnote below):
1. Open the Windows
Control Panel with Start, Settings, Control Panel.
In the Printers and
Faxes module, click on the printer icon or name. [In Windows XP
you can also click Start, Settings, Printers and Faxes.]
<Delete> to delete the printer name (or icon).
3. Still in the
Printers and Faxes dialog, click File, Server Properties, Drivers tab,
and delete the printer driver. (This second step deletes the actual
4. Exit from the
Control Panel, back to the Windows desktop.
5. Re-install the
printer using the updated printer driver.
WordPerfect seem unable to "talk" to your printer? That is, when you
try to print something, nothing happens or (worse) the program crashes?
The following is from the Corel article "How
to re-establish the communication between WordPerfect and your printer" [Corel Knowledgebase
article here and duplicated as a "How To" page here].
Some of it is
included in the "Troubleshooting printing problems..." article above,
but this method appears to be more comprehensive with respect to your
installed printer drivers. [Ed.:
Apparently, this method simply causes WordPerfect Office to create a
new WordPerfect "print
engine," but you may need to re-install some other printer drivers
later if Windows does not automatically re-install them (see steps 13
"To re-establish the
communications between the printer and WordPerfect:
Reset the PrintEngine:
1. Close all applications, including WordPerfect.
2. Click Start, Run. In the Open text box, type: Regedit and click OK.
3. This will bring you into the Windows Registry. Click File, Export
(or Registry, Export).
4. In the text box, Save in: select Desktop or My Documents.
5. Towards the bottom where it says File Name, type in the word: Backup.
6. Below to the left, under Export Range, select All and click Save.
The cursor will change to an hour glass and will return to a pointed
7. Double click the folder HKey_Current_User to expand it.
8. Double click the folder Software to expand it.
9. Double click the folder Corel to expand it.
10. Right-click the folder PrintEngine and select Rename.
Rename it to PrintEngine1.
11. Press the X at the top right corner to close the Windows registry. [Ed.:
Apparently, this simply causes WordPerfect Office to create a new print
Delete the printer drivers:
12. Click Start, Printers
& Faxes (or Start, Settings, Control Panel, Printers).
13. Select your printer drivers and delete them. (All of them).
Disable the items in the
14. Click Start, Run.
15. In the box, type: MSCONFIG and press OK.
16. From the System Configuration Utility dialog, select the Startup
17. From the Startup tab, click Disable All, click Apply, click OK.
Shut down and reboot the
18. Shutdown your computer, wait 10 seconds and restart it. (This way
your local printer will reinstall automatically).
19. Close the System Configuration Utility dialog and press the X at
the top right corner to close the box.
20. Install your printer driver if Windows did not install your printer.
21. Start WordPerfect and test."
☼ If you have specific problems not
listed on this page or anywhere on this
You can try posting a question on the Corel OfficeCommunity.com site, or visit WordPerfect Universe
to mention your windows version (XP, 7, etc.) AND your release number
("build") of WordPerfect as shown in Help, About WordPerfect menu (it's
a 4-part number like 188.8.131.528).
☼ See also
the WordPerfect Universe FAQs,
an Apple Laserwriter printer to troubleshoot," and
faxing, emailing - avoiding reformatting problems"
The latter is
a tip on WordPerfect Universe that recommends using ScanSoft's
PaperPort as the default printer, whereupon you can drag a PP file to
one of the printer icons on the PP desktop; this should prevent
reformatting by the printer. [Before posting a message on either the
Corel newsgroups or WordPerfect Universe, you should read "Help Tips," here to learn how to get the most
☼ See also:
for troubleshooting printer issues in Windows XP and
troubleshooting for network printing problems in Windows XP.
☼ Some of the following items were gleaned from the internet with Google Groups, using
"wordperfect" in the Search field, along with terms such as "~fax
~reformat" (the tilde in front of the word will cause a search
for similar words such as "faxing," etc.).