Word background colour isn’t printing: How to fix

Within Microsoft Word, many often utilise the feature of printing the document on which they work. This makes complete sense, as so frequently do users need to print their documented work for a variety of reasons. Sometimes though, you may encounter issues when trying to print your document, and chances are, that is the case if you are here reading this article today.

Whilst there are a variety of printing issues you can encounter in Microsoft Word, the one we will be focusing on today is the background colour failing to print with your document. Naturally, if an aspect of the print doesn’t go as it should, then it risks imbalancing and ruining the overall printing of the document you have been working on.

Thankfully, this is an issue that is fairly simple to resolve, and one we will be offering a solution for. In order to fix the background colour printing issue you are having in Microsoft Word, you must ensure that you have enabled the printing of background colour and images within your document settings.

Now, if this alone is not enough detail for you to work with, don’t worry. How could it be? In truth, whilst this is the answer to the question, it would be more than unfair to leave you, the reader, with just that as an insight. As such, this article will go on to break the method down in two further ways.

First, we will offer you a step by step guide of the process, a bullet pointed list that will look to provide a swift, summarised answer to those with a decent bank of knowledge when it comes to managing issues within a Microsoft application. This will no doubt apply to some of you, but it’s also completely valid that it won’t be applicable to absolutely everyone.

As such, we will then go on to break the process down even further in a complete walkthrough. This breakdown will be of great detail, explaining each step to you thoroughly, one by one. As well as this, the tutorial will be completed with accompanying screenshots, each annotated to best guide you as you read the article further.

So, first, the step by step process:

Step by step: Word background colour isn’t printing: How to fix

  • Open your Microsoft Word application, presumably onto the document that has the printing issue.
  • From here, look towards the taskbar at the top of your application. Here, click the ‘File’ tab.
  • With the ‘File’ tab open, you will be able to see numerous subsections of options that you can browse.
  • Of everything available to you, look to the very bottom of the list of option tabs. Click ‘Options’.
  • Clicking ‘Options’ will open a small menu, something of a command center for Microsoft Word settings.
  • The left side of this menu will show you the separate subsections of the settings menu.
  • Here, you will want to click the tab titled ‘Display’.
  • After clicking this, look towards the bottom of this settings menu.
  • There should be a subsection of the ‘Display’ settings that is titled ‘Printing Options’. 
  • Under this will be a tick box that may well be unticked. It reads ‘Print background colours and images’. Ensure that this box is ticked.
  • Then, look to the bottom right corner of this menu and click ‘OK’ to save any changes you have made.

Now, as we mentioned above, we will break the process down even further for those of you that didn’t get quite enough detail from the bullet point steps.

Your first step will be to open the Microsoft Word application on your computer. You may well have a shortcut for this, which will of course be enough for you to use in order to access Word. If not though, and you have a Windows device, you will be able to search for Microsoft Word in the search feature of the desktop taskbar at the bottom of your screen. 

After opening Word, you will obviously want to navigate to the document in which you are having this printing issue. In this tutorial, the document being used will be blank, but please don’t take that as an indication that you have to work on a blank document in order to complete this process.

So, from the main screen of your document, look towards the top of your application. Here, click the ‘File’ tab in the top left of your screen. Should you need further guidance, it has been highlighted in the below screenshot.

Clicking ‘File’ will, as you would expect, open the file menu of the application. Here, on the left hand side, will be a list of different tabs of options that you can browse, with each offering a certain aspect of admin with regard to your document. Look towards the bottom of this list, where there should be an option titled ‘Options’. Click on this.

Clicking ‘Options’ will open a small menu onto your screen, a grey menu that sits separately from the Word application you have been browsing up until this point. Here, look for the subheading of options titled ‘Display’. Again, it has been emphasised by the red rectangle below should you need the assistance.

After clicking ‘Display’, look towards the bottom of that menu. There, there should be a heading that reads ‘Printing Options’. The entire section has been highlighted below.

Within this section of display options, there is a tick box accompanied by the title ‘Print background colors and images’:

Ensure that this box is ticked, as it may well have been the cause of your colour printing issues. After ticking this box, look to the bottom right corner of this menu and click ‘OK’ to save your changes (as they will not autosave).

After clicking ‘OK’, you will have successfully completed the process!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, I hope you found it as helpful as you wanted it to be! As is the case with every article we publish, if you encounter any issues when following the process, or simply have a question you wish to ask, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of our team.

Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana has been the managing director of telecoms and MSP Optionbox for over a decade and has worked in various telecommunication roles over the last 20 years. Michael has been involved in many exciting projects, such as co-founding telecoms and IT businesses and has now built up a team of more than 15 staff, serving over 300 clients nationwide. With a wealth of experience in IT and a passion for technology, Michael is now helping BTP to produce the highest quality guides on the internet. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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