| Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect
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| Page updated Feb 10, 2017
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Printer problems - some reasons why WordPerfect might -• not print
• be slow to print
• be slow to open (i.e., "load" or "launch")
• print text incorrectly
• print to the wrong tray
• print multiple copies
• have other print issues or fax format issues.
Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates
Repairing 'bad' or damaged WordPerfect program files
Other pages on this site that relate to printing issues -
How to create new, customized copies of your favorite printer choices - Controlling the tray source (in other software programs), ink color, and other features of your printer from File, Print - (Includes macros to help change to your new printer selections)
Other WordPerfect "repair" pages on this site -
Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates - How to find and fix common problems
This is not a comprehensive list of printing problems and printer formatting issues. However, it is intended to grow as more "interesting" printer output problems are resolved.
Some things to
In the "something else" category ...
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.]
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. See also #7 below.
[Hint: Windows 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 problem?
Some "printer" problems might be due to a missing or corrupt font, even if the printer is still available.
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.]
• 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
• 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 http://www.hp.com/ or other location (search with Google).)
• 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 here. There are settings in WordPerfect that can cause reformatting, which can be mistaken for a problem with the printer.
• For the technically minded: See
Jim Shackleford's post about software fonts, printer fonts, and screen
fonts (and related formatting issues) on WordPerfect Universe, "What You Need To Know About Font Mapping," here.
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
"Why are documents sent to the wrong paper tray (e.g., only to the default tray)?" below.
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?
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
WordPerfect program or documents;
For example -
is slow to open
(a.k.a., "slow launching," "slow loading," "stuck on the splash screen," and similar descriptions).
"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. [Bold added. See also Footnote 2 below.]
To resolve this
issue, remove the reference to the offline printer(s) from your Windows
Control Panel." [Ed.:
However, this seems to relate more to printers that are (or planned to
be) no longer used. For printers that might simply be turned off when
not in use, see the next note below.]
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.
printers can take a few minutes to connect to the network after
powering up. They sometimes have to wait for a few minutes for the
network to get around to recognizing them.
Further: If a printer is
turned off the program can take much longer than normal to load at the
beginning of a session as it attempts to connect to the (now) offline
printer. Subsequent program loading during the same Windows session
might revert to a normal load speed -- only to go back to slow loading
with the next Windows session. This
first-slow-then-normal wait time can be a
strong clue that an offline printer is at fault.
(I have had this
problem when I turned off a rarely used network-connected Brother Label
Turning it on again and waiting several minutes (even overnight in one case)
seems to have resolved the problem. A dedicated "label-maker" device
didn't seem to be a printer problem, but of course if it's connected to
the system and listed in the Windows Control Panel it's a printer to
WordPerfect. I now leave it on all the time since it doesn't draw much power in "ready" mode.)
¤ Old printer drivers still installed:
An alternative cause of slow opening might be the existence of one or more old printer drivers
that are still in the Windows Registry for the current Windows User and
specific version of WordPerfect even after the printer(s) were removed.
I have found that restoring the WordPerfect "print engine" key in the Windows Registry -- by simply renaming that Registry key (see steps 1-11 below) so that the program will create a new factory fresh copy when it next loads -- can fix such a slow loading problem. Here's a thread on WordPerfect Universe that describes the solution, which might also work for you.
will not open at all (i.e., it's not just very slow to 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. [As noted on the RepairDocs page it could be a corrupted default template, which is one of the first things the program tries to access when you open it. See the "troubleshooting path" section there for other possibilities.]
¤ A (normal) reason this happens: 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 -- and the print button will be inactive.
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 June 2011: The
problem with the "Document on Disk" checkbox retaining its
enabled ("on") state has been resolved in WPX5, Service Pack 2 (i.e., version
184.108.40.2065). From the Release Notes for that patch: "...The print option "Document on Disk" does not remain enabled after the Print dialog is accessed from an empty document." But it can remain enabled during the current session under normal circumstances,
presumably because the program thinks you might want to print the disk
document more than once (e.g., a form or other often used document).
¤ Update June 2015: The issue of the print button being grayed out by default has reappeared for some users when updating WordPerfect X7 with Service Pack 2. Resetting the WordPerfect "Print Engine" is the suggested solution on the Corel support site here; see also below.]
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";
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.
driver information, along with a lot of other information, is stored
with the document.
¤ 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. (Reason: 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.
The following material is from the Corel article "How
to re-establish the communication between WordPerfect and your printer" (see 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.
this method simply causes WordPerfect Office to create a
new WordPerfect "print
but you may need to re-install some other printer drivers
later if Windows does not automatically re-install them (see step 13
and step 20). You can try resetting the Print Engine first, then test
things. If it doesn't cure the problem, you might need to delete the
printer drivers and disable start up items, as described below.]
It is recommended that you test WordPerfect after each section of this method. If only the Registry was reset (first section), reboot your system and then test WordPerfect. (Some reports claim you might not need to use the remaining sections if the problem was fixed with the first section.)
"How to re-establish the communication between WordPerfect and your printer.
Reset the PrintEngine [i.e., a specific entry (with several subentries) in the Windows Registry]:
1. Close all applications, including WordPerfect.
Delete the printer drivers:
12. Click Start, Printers
& Faxes (or Start, Settings, Control Panel, Printers).
Disable the items in the
Shut down and reboot the
18. Shutdown your computer, wait 10 seconds and restart it. (This way
your local printer will reinstall automatically).
☼ If you have specific problems not
listed on this page or anywhere on this
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 220.127.116.118).
☼ See also
the WordPerfect Universe FAQs,
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 from them.]
☼ 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.).
Why some documents seem to "spontaneously" or automatically reformat themselves when they are opened, printed, faxed, or shared between users• See this page.
• Many of WordPerfect problems printing to the "wrong" paper tray are solved by creating or editing page definitions that point to the proper paper tray. Here is a thread on WordPerfect Universe ("Overcome the WP10 Printer Bug that only allows printing to the Default Tray!") that offers solutions.
• See this WordPerfect Universe thread, "WP 11 and the changing page setup problem," which explains how to use the Current Printer Only setting when creating new label definitions, especially on networked printers.
• See "Print your letterhead page from one printer tray, and second and subsequent pages from another tray" on the 2Trays page here.
• Try a different printer source setting in File, Page Setup (or Format, Page, Page Setup): Select the page type (i.e., page definition) and click Edit, then adjust the Source. You then should delete any existing [Paper Sz/Typ] codes from the document (look in Reveal Codes) and then re-select the modified page definition for that document. [This method might have no effect in newer versions of WordPerfect, or newer versions of Windows or the printer driver -- but it is easy to use and could solve the problem.]
• See "Merging multiple-page letters using letterhead paper for page 1 and plain paper for subsequent pages" here.
• Does WordPerfect (version 10 or later) print multiple copies of the document or envelope? Perhaps you have un-ticked (disabled) the print option, "Reset number of copies each time," on the File, Print, Advanced tab. Check that box to force WordPerfect to change back to single copies.
• Can't print selected text (in WP11 or later version)? Disable the "Auto generate" checkbox in Tools, Reference [on any of that dialog's tabs].
• Cursor jumps. When saving a document, does the cursor move (jump) to the bottom of the screen in WP11 or later version? Same solution as above: Disable the "Auto generate" checkbox in Tools, Reference [on any of that dialog's tabs].
• "Slow" printing time. Users sometimes notice that it can take several seconds for WordPerfect to start printing a document, which doesn't seem to happen with Microsoft Word.
From the Corel WP11 newsgroup (6/1/07, posted by Steve Shattuck):
"I've always wondered why, when I click to print a document, WP usually freezes for 3-7 seconds while it gets the printer going. Whereas MS Word does not freeze when you print. Is there a workaround?"
"Actually the answer is that WP makes no attempt to format the printer output until you actually print. Word keeps a printable image of your document formatted in the background. Basically just a difference in programming approach. There are strengths and weaknesses to each approach.
Additionally WordPerfect tries to emulate a Desktop Publishing program and as such places each and every letter on a page individually while Word places words, sometimes full pages in a single printer stream. You can validate this if you look at the size of a WordPerfect spool file vs. a Word spool file for the same document. The WordPerfect file is MUCH bigger, and thus takes more time to generate."
[Continued from "What is a printer driver? above...]
Here a two methods to choose from that should be successful in removing printer drivers from a Windows 7 system. (Windows Vista should be similar.)
IMPORTANT: Always set a Windows Restore point -- or, better yet, make a full disk image of your boot drive -- before changing Windows settings.
[From Windows 7 Inside and Out, pg. 644 (Microsoft Press, 2010)]
1. Go to Start> Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Devices and Printers.
2. Click on a printer name (or icon) in that dialog. On the dialog's toolbar, click on "Print server properties."
3. In the Print Server Properties dialog that appears, choose the Drivers tab. [The Forms tab controls the forms you assign to trays using the Device Settings tab in your printer's Properties dialog; you can also create or delete custom forms here.]
4. Select the printer driver to remove, and click Remove. A small dialog should appear with two choices: (1) Remove driver only and (2) Remove driver and driver package. (The "package" is the stored driver on your system that Windows can use to restore the driver. If you want to completely remove all trace of the existing driver so that you can install a brand new driver with somewhat greater assurance there will be no conflicts between old and new versions, select the second choice. Otherwise, select the first choice.)
Method 2 (a bit more comprehensive than Method 1)
From a 6/7/2011 post here at answers.microsoft.com (here):
"OK, I have found the solution to this problem... the info above [in the original thread] is correct as far as it goes, but in my case there was (a) no option to clear the print queue on two 'ghost' printers because they were disconnected and unavailable, so no option for the print queue was displayed, and (b) one was shared on the network and had a TCP/IP printer port assigned to it.
Here's how I did it, step-by-step:
1. right-click on desktop, create a new shortcut with target as 'cmd.exe'.
2. right-click on the shortcut, "Run as Administrator"
3. Run the printui tool: [Type this command in the Start>Search field:] printui /s /t2
4. Try deleting the printers. [Ed.- These steps take you to the same dialog Method 1 above.]
If that doesn't work...
5. Click Start > Run > Services.msc
6. Locate the Print Spooler service, and right-click > Properties > stop service.
7. Open My Computer and browse to c:\Windows\System32\spool\Printers
8. DELETE the contents of that folder.
9. Restart the Print Spooler service.
10. Go back into the printui utillity (might need to restart it using same method as above) and try removing printers again. This time it should work. If necessary, check the "Ports" tab and remove any TCP/IP ports that are associated with the old printer.
11. Last but not least, I checked other computers on my home network to see if any of those had mapped to the old printer, and I removed those mappings, as the date of spooled documents suggested it was printed to long after it was physically removed."Footnote 2
[Continued from "WordPerfect is slow to open..." above:]
In my experience, as soon as WordPerfect loads it will "poll" ALL installed printer drivers -- including things we might not think of as "printers" such as a label maker.
I recently installed a Brother QL-720NW networked label maker. Turning it off caused my WordPerfect X7 to take a couple of minutes to open. Turning it on (and waiting for my wireless network to recognize it) caused WPX7 to load MUCH faster. Leaving it turned on subsequently caused WPX7 to load immediately.