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: Printing in White.

Printing in White

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2021)

Word allows you to easily specify the color to use for different fonts in your document. You can even format text using a color of white. This effectively makes the text "disappear" because seeing white text on white paper is about as easy as seeing a white snowflake in a field of snow.

If you try to print text that is formatted as white, it won't print—Word effectively ignores it. Why? Because most printers (even color printers) use one, two, or four colors. None of these colors available in the printer, of course, is white—so it can't be printed. (In other words, you can't print using ink that you don't have.)

The answer, of course, is to get a special printer or ink cartridge that allows you to print using white ink. In that case, you still wouldn't format your text in Word using white. Instead, black text would actually print out as white, since you effectively replaced the black ink in the printer with the white ink cartridge.

Sound confusing? It can be. But it all boils down to the fact that formatting text as white has no effect on a printout, and you can't print in white unless your printer physically supports the use of white ink.

There is one other option to printing white text, but it would use a lot of ink. That is to use white paper, color the background of the document, and print that out. This means you'd actually be using the ink cartridge to produce the color on the paper (with a white border, of course, since the printer can't print all the way to the edge of the paper).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (848) 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: Printing in White.

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

Using the Same Range Name on Different Worksheets

Defined names can be a great boon when working in a worksheet. Usually names are available throughout an entire workbook, ...

Discover More

Replacing and Formatting at the Same Time

The Find and Replace feature in Word is very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that you can change the formatting on ...

Discover More

Using the Control Panel to Remove Programs

Removing programs that you no longer need can help to free up system resources and keep your system clean and running ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Specifying a Paper Tray in a Macro

You may want to use a macro to process and then print your document. Part of that printing may involve specifying which ...

Discover More

Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer

Sometimes you may want to send Word documents to a commercial printer for professional mass production. Doing this ...

Discover More

Upside-Down Text with PostScript

Got a printer that understands PostScript? You can use some simple PostScript coding to turn text completely upside down ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 5 - 1?

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


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

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.