Unwanted Lines on Printout

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 12, 2016)

Subscriber Josh Ginn wrote about a problem that recently cropped up with his printouts. It seems that he's started getting what he describes as "corner lines" on his documents, where the margins get set.

At first glance, this could be a case of having text boundaries turned on. This is a setting in Word that displays a dotted line around margins, columns, and paragraphs. You can turn text boundaries on and off in this manner:

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

  4. Clear or set the Text Boundaries box, as desired.
  5. Click on OK.

With that being said, the problem in Josh's case probably isn't related to text boundaries, because he describes his problem as being on printouts. (Text boundaries are only displayed on the screen; they don't appear on printouts.) This means that the problem must be related to the printer driver.

The "corner lines" mentioned by Josh sound like what typographers refer to as crop marks. They appear at the corners of printouts as a guide to indicate the point at which a page should be cropped, or cut. Word doesn't include the capability to print crop marks, but some printers can print them--particularly if the printer handles oversized paper.

If there has been a recent update in your printer driver, or if there has been a new printer installed on your system, the appearance of the crop marks is probably related to that change. Different printer drivers provide different functionality, so you will need to check the settings in the printer driver to see if you can discover a setting that controls the crop marks. To get to the printer driver settings, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Print from the File menu. Word displays the Print dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The Print dialog box.

  3. Using the Name drop-down list, select the printer you want to use.
  4. Click the Properties button. Word displays Properties dialog box for the selected printer. At this point, everything that is displayed is controlled by the printer driver, not by Word.
  5. Search through the various tabs and controls to uncover the desired control.
  6. Make any desired changes.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Print as you normally would.

There is one other thing to check out if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003. The unwanted marks could be due to the languages specified in Word. Microsoft describes this problem (and solution) in this Knowledge Base article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/839371

The short answer is that you can remove the unwanted marks by disabling support for Asian languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (145) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Flipping a Drawing Object

Place a drawing object in your document, and it doesn't have to stay that way. You can flip a drawing object in either of two ...

Discover More

Printing Style Sheets

Want to see what styles are defined in your document? Let Word print out a simplistic style sheet for you.

Discover More

Setting a Default for the Object Browser

Does it bother you that when you press Ctrl+Page Up or Ctrl+Page Down you aren't always taken to the top of the previous or ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Printing XML Tags

Word 2003 allows you to use and save your information in XML format. If you want to, you can have Word print a document's XML ...

Discover More

Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing

Do you like using ASK Fields in your documents to get information from the user but don't want Word to update the fields more ...

Discover More

Printing Non-Printing Characters

Serious users of Word often display non-printing characters on-screen so they can see them easier. If you want those ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share