Printer Won't Print Microsoft Publisher Documents Correctly

You may need to adjust print settings in both Publisher and Windows.
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Microsoft Publisher supports many different document properties that may not be compatible with your printer. If you're having trouble with your printer, first make sure that the problem is not the printer itself. Many printers have limitations on paper type, paper size and printable area. After you've completed a test print, you may need to adjust your Page Setup and Print Settings for your document in Publisher, and, if needed, make additional changes in Windows' Printer Properties menu.

1 Test Your Printer

First check that your printer's hardware is working correctly before troubleshooting further. Load paper into the print tray, ensure that the power cord is connected and that your ink cartridges or toner are not empty, and then select the option on your printer to print a test page. Depending on your printer, this option may be called "Print Test," "Test Page" or "Test Printer."

2 Page Setup

The page setup of your document may be not be compatible with your printer. Use Publisher's Page Setup to adjust page, margins and target paper size. Click the "Page Design" tab, and then click the "Page Setup" button at the bottom of the Page Setup group. Check that your size values are compatible with the paper in your printer. Standard letter size has a width of 8.5 inches and a height of 11 inches. Check that your margins are within a printable range for your printer. Note that depending on your printer, zero-inch margins may not be possible.

3 Print Settings

You may need to adjust the Print Settings before printing a document in Publisher. Click the "File" menu, and then click "Print" to open Print Settings. Verify that your printer is selected in the first drop-down menu under. Click the second drop-down menu to select the number of pages to print on each sheet. Click the third drop-down menu to select your paper size from the list under Usable Paper Sizes. If you are printing in color, make sure that "Composite RGB" is selected in the last drop-down menu.

4 Printer Properties

Some print settings you can only manage from within Windows. Right-click in the bottom right corner of your screen and choose "Control Panel" from the context menu. Choose "Devices and Printers" from the "Hardware and Sound" category, right-click your printer's icon and choose "Printer Properties" from the context menu, click "Preferences" to open your printer's preferences, and then click "Advanced" to open Advanced Options. Here you can adjust the available settings for your printer, such as paper size, color settings and print quality. Click "OK" to save your changes.

5 Version Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to Microsoft Publisher 2013 and Windows 8 and 8.1. Procedures may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Located in Denver, Chad Davis has been writing about technology for more than 10 years. He is a technical writer for information technology and product development. Davis provides grant writing and marketing services to small businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from the University of New Mexico.