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Always Printing Drawing Objects

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Always Printing Drawing Objects.

Word allows you to add all sorts of different drawing objects to your documents. If you want to make sure that these objects print with your document, then you should follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Print tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Print tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Ensure that the Drawing Objects check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Now, your drawing objects should print whenever you print your document. The setting (in step 3) is "sticky," which means that it should remain selected unless you specifically make a change to unselect it.

If the setting does not remain set, then there are two possible explanations. First, it could be that you have a macro or an add-in installed and it is changing the setting. The only way to check out this possibility is to disable or remove your macros or add-ins to see if the problem goes away.

The other option is that the area in the Registry where Word stores your configuration settings has somehow become unstable or corrupted. Fortunately, you can delete this data key, and Word will rebuild it automatically the next time you start the program. Follow these steps:

  1. Exit Word.
  2. Start your favorite Registry editor.
  3. Locate the following data key. (This data key, as shown below, is for Word 2003. If you are using Word 97, replace 11.0 with 8.0; for Word 2000 replace it with 9.0; and for Word 2002 replace it with 10.0.)
  4.      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Data
  5. Rename the entire key to something else, or simply delete it.
  6. Close the Registry editor.
  7. Restart Word.

It should go without saying, of course, that any time you make changes in the Registry you run the risk of really messing up your machine. Don't delete or change any other information than what is detailed above. You may also want to back up your Registry before making any changes. (You can find out how to do Registry backups in any decent Windows tutorial book.)

Another caveat is that by renaming or removing the data key (and thereby forcing Word to start over from scratch), you lose many of your other customizations. Thus, you may want to have in mind exactly what those customizations are so that you can redo them after restarting Word.

Another excellent article on the edit-the-Registry technique was written by Word MVP Dave Rado and can be found at the following address. (The article goes into much more detail on the process and ramifications than I have the space to do here.)


WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3438) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Always Printing Drawing Objects.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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