There are a few common reasons why a Word document that contains color may not print in color as expected:
The printer is set to print black and white or grayscale
The most likely cause of a color Word document printing in black and white is that the printer settings are set to print black and white or grayscale. Here are some things to check:
- Open the Print dialog box in Word (File > Print or Ctrl+P)
- Click on Properties or Preferences
- Check that the Color setting is set to Color rather than Grayscale or Black and white
If the printer is set to print black and white or grayscale, it will ignore any color settings in the Word document and print the entire document in shades of gray or black and white. Changing this setting to Color will allow the colored text and images to print as intended.
The document is formatted to print in grayscale
Even if the printer settings are set to use color, the Word document itself may be formatted to print in grayscale. To check this:
- In Word, select the Page Layout tab
- Click on the Page Color button and choose Printed Document
- Check that the setting is No Color rather than Grayscale
Setting this to No Color will tell Word to print the document using whatever color settings are applied to the text and graphics within the document. This will allow it to print in full color provided the printer settings are also set to use color as covered above.
The color text or graphics do not have color applied
Another possibility is that even though the document contains colored text or graphics, the specific items you are trying to print in color do not actually have color applied to them. Some things to check:
- Select the colored text and check the Font Color setting to confirm color is applied.
- For colors applied to text, make sure the color is not set to Automatic which will print black.
- For graphics, right-click the image and verify the picture Color setting is not set to Grayscale.
Applying the desired colors directly to the text or graphic elements you are expecting to print in color will enable them to print that way.
There is a print range limiting the pages
If you have specified a print range in Word, it’s possible that the print range excludes some pages containing color elements. To check for a print range:
- Go to Print > Print All Pages
- Or check Page Setup > Print Rage > All
Resetting to print all pages will allow the colored content to be included.
The document uses color text without a color printer
Some other possibilities if a document with colored text is still printing in black and white:
- The printer is an older model without color support
- The printer is out of colored ink or toner
- The printer connectivity is limited to black and white such as a Black and White Only fax connection
If using a printer without color capability, the color details in the document will be ignored and output in shades of gray or black and white. Upgrading to a color printer or ensuring colored supplies are available will allow full color printing.
An alternative color mode is enabled
Some printer models have alternative color mode options that can override the normal color settings. Check for options like Eco Mode, Toner Save, or Cartridge Conservation which may force grayscale or black and white printing to conserve ink or toner. Disabling these special modes will allow full color printing.
The printer color profile is incorrect
The color profile controls how colors get mapped from the digital document to printed output. If an incorrect profile is applied, colors may print inaccurately or in grayscale. Most users do not need to manually manage color profiles, but if available check that the printer profile matches the printer model and that the document is using the printer’s assigned profile.
To summarize, the most common reasons a color Word document prints in black and white and how to resolve them include:
- The printer settings are set to grayscale or black and white – Change to print color
- The Word document is formatted to print grayscale – Set to print no color
- No color applied to text/graphics expecting color – Apply desired colors
- Limited print range excluding color pages – Print all pages
- Black and white only printer – Upgrade to color printer
- Alternative color modes on printer – Disable modes like Eco or Toner Save
- Incorrect color profile – Ensure printer profile matches printer
Carefully checking these printer and document settings should help get Word documents with color text and graphics to print in full color as expected.
|Printer set to black and white or grayscale||Change printer setting to print color|
|Document formatted to print grayscale||Set Word to print with no color|
|No color applied to text/graphics||Apply desired colors in Word|
|Limited print range||Print all pages|
|Black and white only printer||Upgrade to a color printer|
|Alternative color modes enabled||Disable modes like Eco or Toner Save|
|Incorrect color profile||Ensure printer profile matches printer|
Troubleshooting color printing issues can definitely be frustrating, but methodically going through the potential reasons and solutions above should help identify what needs to be changed to get the full color output you expect from Word. Let the bright colors shine through!
Some key takeaways:
- Double check printer settings for color vs black and white
- Confirm color choices are applied to text and graphics in the document
- Print to a color printer and use color ink/toner
- Disable any special printer modes that may limit color
- Printing color can use more ink/toner so only use when needed
- Get help from your printer manufacturer if color issues persist
With the right understanding of how Word documents handle color and how printer settings impact this, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve most issues with color Word documents printing in black and white instead of rich vibrant colors.
Some resources that can provide additional help:
- Microsoft Word help documentation on printing in color
- Your printer manufacturer’s website for model-specific guidelines
- Online forums like Microsoft Community to find solutions from other users
- Contact your printer or Word support resources by phone/email/chat if needed
Best of luck getting your important color documents to print just the way you expect! Let the full spectrum of rainbow colors shine through with the right troubleshooting techniques.