Text Prints as Bold, but Displays as Regular

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 2, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Debbie has a document that she created. She inserted some text into the document, and this text originated from another document that was not created in her office. The text looks fine on screen, but when she prints the document, the inserted text prints as bold text on her Word 2000 system. When she prints the document on a different system (this one with Word 2003), the document prints fine.

There are many possible problems that could be causing this. Try selecting the offending text (the part that prints as bold) and pressing Ctrl+Q and Ctrl+Spacebar. This resets the formatting on the selected text to the defaults.

Also check to make sure that there are no invisible fields in the document. It is possible that there is a PRINT field (which would not normally be visible) that is causing the printer problems. If the Word 2003 computer does not have the same type of printer, then the PRINT field may not seem to affect that system. To see all the fields, choose Toos | Options | View tab | Field Codes. If you find a field just before the offending text, select and delete the field.

Some people have reported success by saving a document in RTF format, closing Word, starting again and loading the RTF file. You can then save the RTF in Word format and it should print OK.

It is also possible that the document is somehow corrupted in a way that causes unstable behavior only under Word 2000. The best solution is to follow these general steps:

  1. Copy all the text from the document to into Notepad.
  2. Get out of Word.
  3. Restart Word.
  4. Copy all the text from Notepad into a blank Word document.
  5. Format as desired, without copying any styles from the old document.

If the problem still exists even after passing the document text through Notepad, then it is possible that the problem doesn't lie with the document, but with your Normal.dot template. You can verify if this is the problem by simply renaming Normal.dot to something else and restarting Word. If the problem goes away, you'll know that it is because of Normal.dot and you need to recreate the template.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (279) 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. ...

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