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 November 24, 2012)

4

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

Indirect References to a DSUM Parameter

Indirect references can be very helpful in formulas, but getting your head around how they work can sometimes be ...

Discover More

Creating Additional Clocks

Want to keep track of what time it is in various areas of the world? Windows makes it easy by allowing you to display ...

Discover More

Renaming a Document

Need to change the name of an existing document? There are two ways you can do it, using either Docs or Drive.

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Making Sure a Document Always Has an Even Number of Pages

For some documents, you may want to make sure that a printout always has an even number of pages. Word has no intrinsic ...

Discover More

Previewing Before You Print

Print Preview is a feature built into Word that allows you to see what your printed output will look like before you ...

Discover More

Problem Printing Quotation Marks

If you go to print a document and find out that your quotation marks aren't printing properly, there could be a number of ...

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 six more than 9?

2015-06-26 11:50:18

Brent

others have same issue, what helped solved my problem with Mac to Canon printer (over wifi) was:

when printing a PDF, in Printer Setup (After selecting Print)

* Select Advanced (Top of Window) -> Print as Image (Bottom of Window) -> OK


2014-12-28 23:00:17

Raman

I have taken a printout in paper, I did 1 mistake at while printing a date, I want to modify it on the same paper, how can I change it. Please help me


2014-09-14 21:30:23

Ron MVP

Try using Paste Special > Text Only to strip all formatting.

Which "background" color did you change? There are a couple of places a "background" color can be set.

Try selecting the text, including the paragraph mark, then Format menu > "Borders and Shading ..." command > Shading tab > select "No Fill".


2014-09-13 22:00:08

Jerry Loomis

I have copied text which has white letters in green background block. Changing the background color does not affect the text. It is still sorrounded by green. How do I change text from negative print to positive?


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.