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: Fonts Missing in Word.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 22, 2014)
Graham installed Office 2003 Professional on his computer. When he tried to access the Fonts drop-down list in Word, PowerPoint and Publisher, all he got was a Device font, but in Excel he had access to all the fonts installed on the system. Graham is wondering why this was occurring.
In order to understand what is going on, it is important to understand what Word expects from its environment. One of the things that Word expects (as does PowerPoint and Publisher) is a printer that it can work with. If the printer is installed correctly in Windows, then Word will use it and format everything you see on-screen as if it will be printed on that printer.
If you don't have a printer driver installed—or if you don't have a printer driver installed that can use your fonts—then Word can't access the fonts, either. Excel can because it doesn't really care that much about printer capabilities. Whether a given font can be used by a given printer is of little consequence to Excel, but it means quite a bit to Word.
So, the first thing you need to do is check with Windows to see which printer drivers you have installed. If you don't have any installed, then install at least one. (An HP LaserJet driver is always a good choice, even if you don't have access to one of those printers.) If you have the correct printer drivers installed, make sure that one of those printers is specified as the default printer in Windows. Restart Word and your fonts should now be available.
If you have a laptop computer that you normally don't print from, you should still install a printer driver on it and make sure that printer driver is set as default. If you don't, you won't be able to use the full formatting features of Word.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3369) 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: Fonts Missing in Word.
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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.