Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Canceling Printing.

Canceling Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 7, 2015)

5

If you are printing a long document, you may decide that you want to cancel printing for some reason. Exactly how you do this depends on if you are using the background printing feature of Word. If you have background printing turned off, Word displays a dialog box during the printing process. This dialog box, besides informing you of the progress of the print job, also contains a Cancel button. Simply click on this button to stop the print job.

Most people, however, will have background printing turned on—this is the default setting for Word. With background printing turned on Word does not display a dialog box. However, on the status bar you can see a small printer icon that indicates the page currently being printed. To cancel the print job, double-click on the printer icon.

You should remember that print jobs can be stored at various places before they are actually printed. Word "hands off" the print job to Windows, and then Windows figures out what to do with it. Most likely it sends the job to the printer (if it the printer is directly connected to your computer) or it sends it to another location on your network, such as another computer or the printer itself. Why is this important? Because if you want to cancel a print job, you may not be able to do it directly from Word—you may need to figure out where the print job is located on its travels to the printer and then cancel it at that location.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9994) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Canceling Printing.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Off Spell Checking

For some documents, you may not want spell checking turned on. There are two ways that you can turn it off, depending on ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text in Comments

Excel allows you to add comments to individual cells in your workbook. Unfortunately, Excel doesn't provide a way to search ...

Discover More

Adding Video to a Slide

Videos can be an important element of any presentation. Google Presentation makes it easy to add YouTube videos to any ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Two Printed Copies to Different Paper Trays

Many modern printers include multiple paper trays that can be used for different types or colors of paper. Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Hiding Graphics

Do you need a printout where graphics can be turned on and off? This tip provides some concrete ways you can get just want ...

Discover More

Printing Only Selected Pages

I often need to print only select pages of a document, rather than the whole thing. Word makes it easy to be judicious in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 2?

2015-04-07 09:30:26

Rick G.

Often the only reliable way to cancel a print job is walk up to the printer itself and press the right combination of buttons. (Which buttons, depends on the printer.)
--- P.Dhir, if by "how to get to the default setting" you mean Word 2010's setting for "Print in background" here is an answer: In Word, click on the File tab. Near the bottom, click on "Options", click "Advanced", scroll down to the "Print" section and you will find the "Print in background" checkbox.
--- In Allan's defense, there isn't a simple answer to the question "How can I cancel my print job?" because it depends on many different things. Microsoft should make it very easy to cancel a print job, but they don't. It is frustrating.


2015-04-07 07:19:22

P. Dhir

Why do the writers explain in such a way that a lay computer user can't understand? With the above explanation, I am still not sure how to cancel the print job and I am not that dumb either. The most crucial step has been left out, namely how to get to the default setting. The writer should always bring himself to the level of a common reader before using his/her pen. I hope we don't have many writers on computer subject like this one.


2014-08-18 12:10:06

Etienne

Dear Allen,
Your tip is wonderful but incomplete. I "print" to pdf. For some reason it is not functioning. My pdf printer states that there are two jobs in the queue. I want to cancel those and get back to zero. With the previous Office I just went to "cancel print jobs" or something like that, I don't see it here...
Thanks again!!!!!!
Best regards,
Etienne (Steve)
Buenos Aires
Argentina


2014-05-10 17:38:30

Ferial Bishop

I totally agree with Margaret Carney's comments. Why in the world would microsoft not display canceling print option as it was in microsoft XP. I am still not sure I know how to cancel a print job even with the above explanation.


2013-12-27 10:02:41

mARGARET CARNEY

I hate this new version 2010 of Word. Under the old version, the cancel print option appeared on the screen. This 2010 version you have to use HELP and then read volumes and volumes of notes!!! I just want to cancel a print. I had to grab the paper out of printer and then look up how to cancel. Nonsense. I am still not sure what to do to cancel so I am going to turn my printer off and hope the printing has been cancelled by the time I turn on....what a rigmarole. Cancelling printing is an important option and should be clearer under the print command.........I am annoyed....


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.