Great Gray Tones from a Black and White Printer

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2015)

If you have a black and white printer (such as with most laser printers), you know that getting the right shade of gray printed on a document can be challenging. If you need to add shading to the cells of a table or to another object, such as an AutoShape, you probably know that choosing one of the shades of gray provided by Word can result in a muddy, tough-to-read background for text.

One way around this problem is to use an old photography trick when applying the shading. Select what you want to shade, and then instead of using a shade of gray use a shade of yellow. The result looks rather funky on the screen, but when you print it on a black and white printer the results will be better than if you had selected a shade of gray.

Give it a try the next time you need to print a shaded background; you may be amazed at the results.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6558) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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