Question in Microsoft Works, text is squeezed together and unreadable in word processing document

Posted on 2004-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have client on Microsoft Works word processor, version 7.  The document opens and the text is squeezed together and unreadable.  If I print however, then the text on the screen displays properly and the document prints properly as well.  If I save the document and open again, the same issue.  I tried changing the screen resolution, that didn't help.  I changed the view to be higher and lower percent, no success.  These documents displayed fine on the computer that they came from, the users old computer.  Any help would be appreciated.
Question by:calavera44
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 12029432
First thing I would suggest is make sure all your print drivers are updated.

LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Joseph O'Loughlin earned 500 total points
ID: 12030031
Hi calavera44,
I agree with Jorzech
If the font is Arial, download hp's Arial Narow.
Font subsitutions (the printer has a font and Windows has not or visa versa) can result in garbled courier text.  What make and model of printer have you got and is it inkjet, laser, dotmatrix or vector etc?
What is the default printer.  Works asks the printer driver when it opens what fonts are available so problems can result if for example fax is the default printer.
usual disclaimers apply

Author Comment

ID: 12038850
Maybe my question is not clear, the printing is fine, it is the screen font that is having a problem.  It displays on the screen with the text  squeezed together.  The printer is a HP Laserjet 6L and it is using the drivers that come with Windows XP.
On Demand Webinar - Networking for the Cloud Era

This webinar discusses:
-Common barriers companies experience when moving to the cloud
-How SD-WAN changes the way we look at networks
-Best practices customers should employ moving forward with cloud migration
-What happens behind the scenes of SteelConnect’s one-click button

LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 12039196
The print on screen is determined by the print drivers.  You should still check for print driver updates.  Also - check for windows and office updates (even if you just installed).

What font are you using?

Also, search for and rename (or delete) all instances of on the C: drive if that's where it normally resides (to find out: Tools, Options, File Locations, User Templates).

LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 12078226
The printer can have fonts for which there is no equivilent Windows font installed.  

The HP LaserJet 6L understands two print languages, PCL and Postscript.  A different driver is available for each.  The print language describes the page, like HTML describes a web page.

Palatino or AvantGarde are examples of postscript fonts for which there is occasionally no equivilent Windows font installed, so Works will substitute Courier onscreen when you first open the document.  After you do a print preview, it will display a font where more than just the spacing matches  (but is still not Palatino).

You have a couple of different drivers to choose from at

Which driver you can use make a difference - were the documents created with the same driver as is now in use?

I know you said that this is the "Opposite" to what you are getting
HP LaserJet Printers - Font Characters Appear "Squished" Together or Do Not Contain Spaces
But it works both ways.

There are various settings that can be tweaked in the printer driver, particularly font substitution.  Has your printer got (MS) at the end of the name in Printers and Faxes?  XP normally uses the PCL driver.

In the driver properties, Under printer preferences, Advanced, set the paper size correctly.  

If the printer status sheet (check the manual) has only 1MB of memory and you are using A4 or Letter paper do not use the 600x600 resolution - reduce to 300x300 under Graphics.  

Set TrueType Font to Download as Softfont (also helps get the Euro symbol).  Enable Advanced printing features and print optimizations.  Say OK to all that.

Repeat under Device settings, where there is also settings for font rom cartridges if one is used - you will need the diskette associated.

Repeat again on the advanced tab, Printing Defaults, advanced...

Another source of the problem is that the document was created on another machine with different fonts installed, or a different type of printer.

You may have to cut and paste the text to notepad, then cut and paste it back, loosing formatting information, then reapplying the formatting.

Given the providence of the documents, if you still have access to the old computer, install the fonts from there, by copying the fonts to an empty folder on the new machine, using the control panel, fonts, add font, browse to the directory, select all, and click past any fonts it complains about being already installed, choosing not to install them.  

In contradiction to what I have just said, I don't advise installing every font under the sun.  Windows becomes unstable with 1000 fonts, sooner if low on ram.

I would not be suprised if the user's favourate font is Banf or something else not part of a default Works install.  


Author Comment

ID: 12156258
Hi to all who responded,

Based on the response, here is what I did:

I updated the drivers for the Laserjet 6XL printer which the user was using to print Word documents.  Next I changed the default printer to be the Laserjet 6XL.  Then everything was fine.  However, using the laser printer as default was not what she wanted, she wants to use a Okidata Microline 320 as default since she mosstly prints 2 part forms.  So, now I am going to change the Microsoft Works documents to courier font bacause that is available on the Okidata and the HP.  Thanks so much for all the info and I do have a solution now based on the answers.

John Allen
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 12156302
So calavera44
if atheist agrees with me, why did you accept his answer?  Sorry atheist... nothing personal or about the points...just wondering.

Author Comment

ID: 12161299

I only did that for this reason, this comment from atheist:

"Works asks the printer driver when it opens what fonts are available so problems can result if for example fax is the default printer."

I didn't know that Works asks the default printer for fonts.  My client had designated a Okidata dot matrix printer as the default printer because they print forms very often on that workstation.  So, that is what made it possible for me to fix the problem.   I had to change to default printer from the Okidata dot matrix to the Laserjet.  Then the screen fonts displayed correctly.

So, given that, it seemed like the right thing to do, accepted answer wise.



LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 12162463
No problem JOrzech.  With swings and roundabouts, I hope it all balances out.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 12164699
I know - I posted a comment earlier but our office is having internet problems and it never got posted.... it basically said not to worry.  And thanks for posting the explanation.  As I said no biggie...

Featured Post

[Webinar] Code, Load, and Grow

Managing multiple websites, servers, applications, and security on a daily basis? Join us for a webinar on May 25th to learn how to simplify administration and management of virtual hosts for IT admins, create a secure environment, and deploy code more effectively and frequently.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Introduction Authors who set out to write any sort of lengthy piece for online submission—be it a long question or comment on a technical form, an article, or a substantial blog entry—often find it useful to work up a draft in an editor other t…
Preface: When I started this series, I used the term CommandBars because that is the Office Object class that it discusses. Unfortunately, when Microsoft introduced Office 2007, they replaced the standard Commandbar menus with "The Ribbon" and rem…
In this video, we show how to convert an image-only PDF file into a PDF Searchable Image file, that is, a file with both the image (typically from scanning) and text, which is created in an automated fashion with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) …
This video shows where to find templates, what they are used for, and how to create and save a custom template using Microsoft Word.
Suggested Courses

732 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question