Thursday, March 27, 2008

MS Word 2007 Cannot Print Out Embedded Excel Object

Hello Friends,

Working as an IT Support Officer, I recently came across an issue at work where a few staff are not able to print out embedded Excel objects (graphics, tables, equations, etc...) in Word 2007 document (.docx). After several unsuccessful searches for solutions on the Internet and going through the same issue everyone else is experiencing, I did a trial and error with settings on MS Word 2007 and finally concluded with a solution to overcome it. So I thought I might share it with the people in IT and the rest of the World who uses MS Office 2007 suite.

Depending on which printer used (at work, we have HP and Ricoh printers), it will either print out a blank spot or a black box. Print Preview will show the embedded object as we wanted it to be, however the printouts just doesn't produce the expected results.

My solution involves converting the docx file to pdf using MS Office Add-in: "Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS" option. If you haven't already done so, please click on the following link and install the Add-in.

2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS

Once that's done, open the word document and follow the following instructions.

1. In Word 2007, click Office button > point to Save As > click on PDF or XPS option.

2. In Publish as PDF or XPS dialog box, click Options.

3. In Options dialog box, remove tick in ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A) and leave a tick in Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded. Click OK. Click Publish.

4. Open the PDF file, and then print it out as you would normally do.

The end result should be what you would expect if Word 2007 actually works and hopefully Microsoft will find a solution to that issue in the next Service Pack 2. Hopefully this will save you AU$80 tech support call to Microsoft.

Please leave a comment if this solution fixes or doesn’t fix your issue. Thank you.

Rox

26 comments:

Life's Little Oddities said...

Hi Rox!

Your comment fixed my problem - genius! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the world! Now off to continue the creation of my crib sheet.

:)

Rox Wong said...

Your Welcome... =)

I hope I can help out as many people out there who are also struggling with this issue. I am glad that my solution helped you out. =)

Rox

Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR POST!

This certainly helped all our staff at work!

Gilly!

Anonymous said...

It works. Thankyou! I search a lot but I can't find a solution. I hope Microsoft will solve early this problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rox

Thank you very much - it fixed the problem! We've been going crazy trying to find a solution to this.

Cheers

Andrew said...

Thanks... was going crazy for my thesis...

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

you saved my life - or at least my Master Thesis :)

Thanks a lot for your help and for sharing it! Awesome!!!

Greetings from Germany,
Simone

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

you saved my life - or at least my Master Thesis :)

Thanks a lot for your help and for sharing it! Awesome!!!

Greetings from Germany,
Simone

Anonymous said...

Our users are retrieving Word 2007 documents that are shared in a document library in Sharepoint. They do not want to have to save the document as another file type. They want to keep the file in Word. Not all users are having this problem. Some are and some aren't. We are on Office 2007 SP. It has been some time since original post by Rox. Is there any other solution?

Rox Wong said...

At the moment, I don't have a solution to this issue myself. However, Microsoft is releasing Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 in Feb-Apr and hopefully it fixes this annoying issue that are causing many headaches for all IT Support. In my opinion, suggestions or feedbacks to Microsoft would probably be best to see if they have a solution to this issue or a hotfix will be released in the next Windows Update. As our company mainly uses PDF for all communication, we have yet have any staff having this issue.

To come to think of it, are your staff using the same printer to print? Are the printer drivers up to date on each PC? Tried the same document on another user's PC that works?

Adamma said...

Well written article.

Tim said...

Hello, and thanks for the workaround, Rox, which I have tried. However, the result is not the most elegant, as the bitmap text is extremely pixelated.

However, I have found another workaround to this problem, which you may be interested in trying. This workaround results in clear graphical representation from the embedded excel sheet.

Try the following...

- Open the Word file, where the problem-embedded Excel sheet is.
- Double click on the problem-embedded Excel sheet to open it from within Word.
- Mark and copy its contents.
- Open the Excel application in the same Office version as Word (i.e. probably 2007).
- Paste the contents of the problem-embedded Excel sheet into the blank Excel worksheet.
- In Excel, mark and copy these newly pasted contents.
- Switch back to Word, delete the problem-embedded Excel sheet.
- Paste the 'new' sheet back into word as a 'Paste Special' (if you can find this command in Word 2007!), choosing to paste as a 'Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object'.
- Voila! This seems to work for me, at least. Now I can print this newly pasted embedded Excel sheet to a PS printer or to pdf, without problems.

It's also a good idea to take a note of the problem-embedded sheet's column widths and object size (look in 'format object' for object size), before deleting it, in order to maintain layout in the word document.

This is not at all the most elegant of fixes, but it's especially useful if you only have to do it once per Office-update (I'm using the same template for invoices, so I only have to alter this once).

It seems to be a post-script problem that Microsoft have created between Office versions. I hope they fix it soon - they certainly don't talk about it on their webpage!

Good luck!

Tim

Anonymous said...

thanks, works great now

Winstons said...

Cheers for the info

Anonymous said...

My hero. Management Science crib sheet: Printed!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much!

Anonymous said...

Hiya Rox,

Worked for me - am burning the midnight oil trying to get a key document printed for tomorrow - with 15 embedded objects which won't print in Word 2007.

You've saved me from a fate worse than ..... well, looking stupid!!

Many thanks
Sue

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rox :-)

Aurel

Anonymous said...

worx. thanks

Anonymous said...

As I searched the internet to solve a similar problem I was having with Word 2007, I stumbled across the Word Options and changed a few Print Options in that window and it solved my printing problem. I had a logo file and text box that were not printing until I checked the top two boxes in the Print Options and that solved my problem. It may work for your Excel object problem as well.

Anonymous said...

In Word 2007, click round Office button in the upper left corner > click on the Options button at the bottom > click Display in the list on the left > then check the Print Options until the Print Preview shows the objects that you want to print.

Anonymous said...

Just use a PCL driver for your printer. The problem resides in the PS driver that is used when printing. If you are converting to PDF using Adobe, it will use a PS driver.

Go to your printers manufacturers website and download the driver with either PCL, PCL5, PCL5e, or PCL6 after it, install the driver, never have the problem again.

Anonymous said...

Rox, thanks for the solution, that's really thinking outside the box! Quite frankly we often forget that the objective is getting the desired results, not making the product do what it was supposed to originally, your solution does this with a minimum of disruption, and at the same time gave me a new capability I hadn't considered before (publishing .pdfs from inside word). Thanks!

~Jim

Anonymous said...

It worked! Thanks!
Jim, Socorro, NM, USA

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Rox - brilliant solution has saved me!

Anonymous said...

That completely solved exactly the issue I was facing. This is the only place where I found a solution to this problem. Thanks.