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: Canceling Printing.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2011)
If you are printing a long document, you may decide that you want to cancel printing for some reason. Exactly how you do this depends on if you are using the background printing feature of Word. If you have background printing turned off, Word displays a dialog box during the printing process. This dialog box, besides informing you of the progress of the print job, also contains a Cancel button. Simply click on this button to stop the print job.
Most people, however, will have background printing turned on—this is the default setting for Word. With background printing turned on Word does not display a dialog box. However, on the status bar you can see a small printer icon that indicates the page currently being printed. To cancel the print job, double-click on the printer icon.
You should remember that print jobs can be stored at various places before they are actually printed. Word "hands off" the print job to Windows, and then Windows figures out what to do with it. Most likely it sends the job to the printer (if it the printer is directly connected to your computer) or it sends it to another location on your network, such as another computer or the printer itself. Why is this important? Because if you want to cancel a print job, you may not be able to do it directly from Word—you may need to figure out where the print job is located on its travels to the printer and then cancel it at that location.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1237) 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: Canceling Printing.
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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.