All Text Prints Grey Instead of Black

Software & Operating Systems

Software & Operating Systems
Microsoft, Linux, Productivity software, discussion

All Text Prints Grey Instead of Black

  • I have a Dell 1720 printer running on an Inspiron 530s, Vista Home Premium and MS Word 2007. The entire system is new. On some documents, all text has been printing in grey instead of black, making them very difficult to read. On other documents, all text prints in normal black.

    I have checked the printer settings (including printer properties) as well as the MS Word settings for all the documents but so far have been unable to find any difference in settings to explain the difference in printing. I had suspected the problem was in the font settings but I’ve tried changing the fonts in the problem documents and that has had no effect on the text shading. I suspect there is something else in the MS Word document formatting information that is triggering printing in greyscale in the affected documents but I have been unable to find the cause.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.


  • Try resetting one paragraph that gives you trouble. Triple click one paragraph, press ALT-CTRL-SHIFT-S and select Clear All. Does the one paragraph print correctly?

    Message Edited by abach on 02-28-2008 04:00 PM

    Allan Bach

  • Thanks for the response. I tried what you suggested and it made no difference in the printing. I did find some more clues about the problem however. I tried changing to a number of different fonts and found several which did in fact print much darker than the Courier font the document is set to. Times New Roman for example printed darker and more like what I was looking for. There are still many fonts which didn’t print dark enough however.

    I also tried another experiment. I went back to my older system which has Windows 98, Word 97 and an older IBM Lexmark printer.  I printed the exact same document on my old system…it had the same font, all of the same document settings, everything identical except for the hardware and Windows/Word versions.

    That same document printed *considerably* darker on my old printer than it prints on the Dell printer. I had looked for an adjustment for toner darkness on the Dell printer but apparently there is not a physical adjustment on that printer. I am currently trying to track down the “Dell Local Printer Settings Utility” which so far I have been unable to find either on my system or on the diskette which came with the 1720 printer. I’m guessing that there is a setting in that software (once I find it) which will allow me to adjust the toner darkness. At least, I hope that is what the problem is.

  • I finally found the print quality "toner darkness" settings for the 1720 printer in my software and set it to max darkness. That made absolutely no difference in getting the printer to print darker. I am officially completely stumped again.
  • Can you try the printer on another computer? This may confirm whether or not this is a printer problem or a software problem.

  • >>Can you try the printer on another computer? This may confirm whether or not this is a printer problem or a software problem.<<

    That's a really good idea. The only other computer I can try this with right now is my older Dell with Windows 98. I can physically connect the Dell printer to it but unfortunately cannot find any Windows 98 drivers for it.  Apparently Dell no longer supports Windows 98, at least with this model printer.
  • I don't know what to suggest then Scott ???

  • I've managed to track down the problem and determine that it is isolated to the "Courier New" font. I've further determined that there is a history of this issue with the Courier font printing too lightly and not meeting legal standards for documents required by courts. The older IBM printer I have apparently uses a darker version of Courier which was brought out to correct the problem of that font printing too lightly.  

    Right now I am attempting to find out if Dell has the darker version of the Courier font available for downloading and installing.  If I can't find that, the workaround is to change the font on my  affected documents to anything except Courier.
  • I found the fix for this problem in case anyone reading this has the same problem and is interested. Go the the Hewlett-Packard website:

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?locBasepartNum=lj611en

    download the ij611en.exe file and unzip it.  This gives you the four files:

    dour45w.ttf
    dour46w.ttf
    dour65w.ttf
    dour66w.ttf

    These are the four variants of the Courier font in the darker version (brought out to fix the  problem of Courier printing too lightly mentioned previously) and can be used for any printer. Copy those four files into the “FONTS” folder in VISTA and “Dark Courier” will now show up in the fonts list for the document. Select “Dark Courier” and the document will print properly.

  • Glad to hear the problem has been solved. Thanks for posting the solution. Im sure it will be helpful for others with this problem.

  • I am also facing the same problem but the fonts I am using are Calibri. Do you think its still because of the fonts?

    Thanks in advance.

  • In fact, I am able to print the same fonts in black from another document but the same document when converted to PDF gets me the same problem again. I desperately need help guys. Thanks.