Text Prints as Bold, but Displays as Regular

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 28, 2021)


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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What is four more than 8?

2021-05-18 18:37:39


Word, Excel, PDF text randomly prints as bold. Cannot fix using the tips you have provided. Can you suggest any other fix? Thanks

2015-08-26 17:07:53


I already know how to print comments in excel but I just can't find any info about being able to print the format of the comments. I've formatted the comments to be bold, to have colors, etc. but it doesn't show when printing the comments.

2014-11-19 14:17:03


Becky (and Ann): That is typically a printer problem. If Word doesn't think it needs to send a particular font to the printer because it believes the printer already has that font resident in it's firmware, it won't send it. However, the printer may not have it resident, so it substitutes a font that doesn't have any bold typeface.

My suggestion? Take the document to someone else's Word system that uses a different printer. See if it will print correctly there. That will help to pinpoint whether it really is a printer problem or if the problem lies in the document itself.


2014-11-19 14:14:06

Becky Frost

I have the same problem as Ann Connelly. Did you ever get an answer?

2014-10-22 20:40:23

Ann Connelly

I have typed a document. In the document I have some words that I have in Bold Type. On the screen the words are in Bold and the rest in the regular print. However, when printing the document the Bold printed words come out as regular print. How can I get the Bold words to print Bold?

2013-12-13 04:06:23

Ivana Petešić

my Word 2010 started acting strange couple of days ago. The documents (old and new ones) are all written in bold characters, but the bold option is not on. I've tried Styles, and Templates but they all show that bold option is not on so it's not possible to turn it off, in fact, everything is set as it was before this started to happen.
Thank you so much for your answer
Ivana Petešić

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