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: Opening and Printing a Document.

Opening and Printing a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2012)

Joe indicated that he was having a problem opening and immediately printing a document in Word. If he opened and immediately tried to print a document, Word wouldn't do it. Instead, he had to open, make some small edit, and then print the document in order for it to work.

Some readers suggested that this could be due to Word being busy doing background tasks before coming "up to speed." When you open a document in Word, it takes time for the document to be examined (internally) by Word, for pagination to occur, and for the program to become "responsive." On slower systems, the startup delay can be noticeable—particularly with large or complex documents. If this is the problem, then it may be just a matter of not printing immediately, but allowing Word to complete its internal document-opening sequences (perhaps a few seconds) before actually printing.

There is another approach to printing that you may want to consider. If your only purpose in opening the document is to print, then you can right-click the document's name and choose Print from the Context menu. This works either in Windows Explorer or in the Open dialog box in Word. Printing in this way produces the output, without leaving the document open in 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 (3865) 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: Opening and Printing a Document.

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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