Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Printing in White.

Printing in White

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2018)

2

Word allows you to easily specify the color to use for different fonts in your document. You can even format text using a color of white. This effectively makes the text "disappear" because seeing white text on white paper is about as easy as seeing a white snowflake in a field of snow.

If you try to print text that is formatted as white, it won't print—Word effectively ignores it. Why? Because most printers (even color printers) use one, two, or four colors. None of these colors available in the printer, of course, is white—so it can't be printed. (In other words, you can't print using ink that you don't have.)

The answer, of course, is to get a special printer or ink cartridge that allows you to print using white ink. In that case, you still wouldn't format your text in Word using white. Instead, black text would actually print out as white, since you effectively replaced the black ink in the printer with the white ink cartridge.

Sound confusing? It can be. But it all boils down to the fact that formatting text as white has no effect on a printout, and you can't print in white unless your printer physically supports the use of white ink.

There is one other option to printing white text, but it would use a lot of ink. That is to use white paper, color the background of the document, and print that out. This means you'd actually be using the ink cartridge to produce the color on the paper (with a white border, of course, since the printer can't print all the way to the edge of the paper).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10098) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing in White.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is three minus 3?

2012-11-25 18:50:39

Rob C

Smiling, I understand what you are suggesting, but I don't think that will work. Printers print grey using low-density black ink, so it appears like grey when printed on white paper. It will appear as a darker shade of the paper colour when printed on coloured paper.
As Allen indicated above, you will need to have a white ink in the printer (which is very unusual) for light grey to look like light grey (without a colour tint) when printing on coloured paper).


2012-11-24 12:21:14

Smiling Carcass

Or, you could format the text as a very light shade of grey and use the coloured paper of your choice; with darker colours, at least the grey ink would be virtually idistinuishable from white.


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