Printing problems run the gamut from flaws in your output to crashes that prevent you from obtaining any output at all. If Microsoft Word crashes while you're trying to print, you may lose an unsaved file, waste time and possibly delay the completion of a business project. To find the cause of your Word program's instability in such cases, look at your computer setup and how you access your printer.
An out-of-date or mismatched printer driver that doesn't correlate with your hardware model and operating system version can prompt a wide range of application software misbehavior, including crashes when you attempt to adjust print settings or output your file. If your printer symptoms persist in other applications or with other Microsoft Word files, look to your driver software as a cause. Check the printer manufacturer's support website for an appropriate driver to download and install.
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Corrupt Document or Template
If your Word file becomes damaged or contains damaged graphics assets, you may experience application instability when you try to print the document. Likewise, if the Normal.Dot or Normal.Dotm template file that supplies the default settings for new Word documents is corrupt, the files you build with it in the loop will also suffer from the problems that plague your master template. Renaming the template document prompts Word to replace it with a fresh version.
Corrupt Font File
Many instances of faulty file and application behavior trace to the presence of corrupt font files at work in the documents you create. Font files play a role in virtually every aspect of computing, whether they're drawing elements of an application or operating system user interface, setting the type in a letter or presentation, or titling a chart or graph. Try a different typeface to see if your problems disappear. If they do, replace the problematic font file or files with fresh copies.
Network Printer Missing
Many office computing setups rely on a networked printer with a driver that you access on a centralized server. If the server becomes inaccessible while you try to print, or you're disconnected from it because you've taken your office laptop on the road, your operating system won't be able to find the printer driver it needs, causing a crash. In such cases, you need access to a locally connected printer -- one that plugs in to your computer -- or a local copy of the driver for the networked printer.
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- Microsoft Support: How to Troubleshoot Problems That You May Experience When You Try to Print to a Local Printer by Using Office Programs in Windows XP
- The Word MVP Site: Solving Crashing Problems
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