Microsoft Word for Windows? 97 Printing Problem

By quickt ·
OS: XP Home Edition SP-3
Printer: HP Photosmart 3180
Application: MS Office 97 - Word 97.

Problem: Whenever I attempt to print a word document using word 97 through the File/print option I receive an error message "Microsoft Word for Windows? 97 application file has encountered a problem and needs to close". I am however able to print the same word document using the Print Icon presented in word for windows 97, however in doing so have no control over the document selection format/opions and printing characteristics.

This is the only office application so affected.

Word 97 File/Print was working properly until recently.

I do have automatic Windows XP updates enabled and am current with SP-3

Corrective actions taken include replacing the HP printer drivers and updating MS office 97 to first SR-1 and then SR-2. This has not corrected the problem. Search of the internet shows that others are experiencing the same error.

Any suggestions?

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All Answers

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As Office 97 was never designed to work on XP

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Microsoft Word for Window ...

The most likely reason is that a change has been made to XP via the Automatic Updates which has caused this issue.

It sounds like an issue between whatever 97 uses as a Printer Driver or Print Spooler Driver to send the job to the Print Spooler. This is exactly what happened with Incompatible Printers to XP they would continue to work most times but you had no control over the Printer you got all or nothing.

I would say your only option here if you can not live with this is to Upgrade to a newer version of Office or at least Word or remove the Update that caused the problem if that is possible. It may require you to wipe the computer and reload as some patches can not be removed any other way. But look in the Add Remove Programs in the Control Panel add a tick tot he Box on the top to show updates and remove the newest ones applied. It may or may not help.

But that's just my opinion and I may be wrong.


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One more thing to try.....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to As Office 97 was never de ...

... and this might not help either. But, it's worth a shot. You can set Word 97 to run in compatibility mode, choosing Win95 for it to be compatible with.

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Have you checked for a Printer Driver update?

by 1bn0 In reply to Microsoft Word for Window ...

Just a possibility.

If you are still having issues try updating your office suite.

Free/Open Source office suite:

Good compatability. No license fee. You can set the default file format to MS Office fomrats.

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Reinstalling the printer should fix this.

by notcody In reply to Microsoft Word for Window ...

I just experienced this same problem today (Friday the 13th!) and found your posting which describes the issue very well.

I first clicked another related Tech Republic link (;leftCol) and saw that someone had fixed this issue by simply reinstalling the printer, so I tried that solution.

It DID eventually work, but I first had to remove and reinstall ANOTHER printer that used the same driver. After having removed BOTH printers, I reinstalled the first and did NOT choose the "keep existing driver" option; instead, I let the printer driver's files (kept on a server for convenience) overwrite those from the former (corrupted?) installation, and then printer #1 did again work with Word 97. However, when I initially reinstalled printer #2 I told it to keep the existing driver, but then Word 97 encountered its problem when I did a test print from it. (Printer #1 was still OK.) I then again deleted and reinstalled printer #2, instructing the (on the server) files to overwrite the existing ones, and then I could again print to printer #2 from Word 97.

Note: To save paper during the tests, I created my "Word 97 print page" by hitting only the space bar a few times before printing. When the "blank" page printed, I just put it back in the printer for the next test! :-)

I'm adding this post in case anyone else discovers this thread in the search for a solution. Best regards to all....

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also. . .

by Kenone In reply to Reinstalling the printer ...

if you have printers installed that no longer exist or that you no longer use, uninstall those as well. Especially if they're HPs'.

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