Troubleshooting Print Problems from Word and Excel

Much time as a PC technician is spent troubleshooting printing issues. Sometimes the print problem will come disguised as an application problem are careful questioning and investigation will be required to discover the true cause. One other occassions the primary issue is with the application – and more often than most techs would like to admit, the true cause is sometimes a mystery.

You receive a ticket stating that a user in the HR department is having trouble loading Microsoft Word and Excel documents on her PC and that print times to the printer are also long. The printer is a shared device attached to another PC in the same department. The user was able to load MS Office documents and print normally prior to today.

Initial Investigation

Locate the user and ask a few questions about the problem. Some relevant questions would be:

  • When did the problem first occur?
  • Have there been any recent configuration changes to the printer settings on the PC?
  • Were any changes made to the hardware, software or configuration settings of the computer prior to the problem first appearing?
  • Do any error messages appear when a print command is issued?
  • Do any error messages appear when loading the Word / Excel applications?
  • Are there any issues when you attempt a direct print?