Q&A: Why Microsoft Word might stop printing, and how to fix it

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Q: Several months ago, my copy of Microsoft Word 2010 ceased being able to print documents. I get the error message "There is insufficient memory or disk space. Word cannot display the requested font." (I get the same message no matter what font I use.) This is only a problem with Word. I can copy the text to Windows 10 Notepad or WordPad and print from those programs. The Office repair tool didn't help. I can't reinstall Word because my PC is second-hand, and I don't have any Office 2010 installation disks. I tried the solution in a YouTube video (see tinyurl.com/4fma86hy) without success. What can I do?

—David Nightingale, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

A: There are several possible causes of the Microsoft Word you're getting, but you've already ruled out two of them: It's not in the printer's driver software because you can still print from other programs. It's also not corruption in a crucial Word file called "normal.dot"; you followed the YouTube directions to recreate that file. So, what else might cause your problem?

You might have compatibility problems with Windows 10. Your PC, a Dell Optiplex 760, was introduced in 2009 and may not keep working with newer versions of Windows 10.

You may have a problem with your copy of Office. Microsoft stopped providing technical and for Office 2010 more than a year ago, so it's possible that your copy of Word 2010 has been hacked. If so, there's no easy fix because you can't reinstall the program.

There may be a software conflict with one of the add-in programs you can download to give Word new features (see tinyurl.com/mr2v4p4c). Turn off any add-ins that you or the PC's previous owner might have installed and see if this solves your printing problem. (For details on this and the following fixes, see tinyurl.com/3ufsw84x).

There may be other software flaws. You can try using the Windows "PowerShell" commands, which provide an alternate way to manage printers. And if that doesn't work, you can change the PC's registry, a database of settings. This is always risky because if you make a mistake the PC won't work. Make a back-up copy of the registry before making the recommended registry changes (the Web address above explains how.)

Q: I bought a new HP laptop that has Windows 11, but I can't get it to print Microsoft Word documents on both sides of the paper using my HP Officejet Pro 8610. This was easy on my previous HP PC, but this time I can't seem to set it up in Control Panel. What can I do?

—Earl Athman, Little Falls, Minnesota

A: There is a new software driver for your printer; download it at tinyurl.com/5cy8zbn7 and it may solve the problem. If not, try this: To print a single document double-sided, open the document and press the "Ctrl" and "P" keys simultaneously. Select your printer from the list, then click "preferences." In the resulting menu, select either "duplex printing (manual)" or "duplex printing (automatic)." Duplex means printing on both sides of the paper. Doing it manually means you have to feed the paper into the printer a second time. Doing it automatically means you don't have to do anything. At the bottom of the menu, click "OK." In the next menu, click "apply" at the bottom, then click "print." (For more details, see tinyurl.com/yckt3cy9).

2021 StarTribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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