Excel Printing Issue

Posted on 2012-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-25
Hi Experts,

This is a bit of a weird one so I will try to explain it as best I can.

We have a system for improving our products which is unfortunately been coded into a series of excel spreadsheets. When a user does something on one and saves it, it may go away and update several others etc. (should have been a db right?, yes I think so too.)

Anyway, when one user tries to print a spreadsheet from within the system, they click file, print, try to select a printer from the drop down list and none of the details under the drop down list update, (Name, Location, Comment etc) and the spreadsheet behind the print window turns grey.

Once you have selected the printer you want to print to and you click print, nothing prints.

I'm confident that this issue is something to do with the code that is setup within the excel spreadsheets although it only appears to effect one user running xp. (most users are now on Win7 but other XP users can print these fine).

Also, any other spreadsheet we have tried that is not to do with this system allows us to change the printer (and it's details populate automatically underneath) then print no problem at all.

We've tried uninstalling / reinstalling and repairing MS Office. Deleting and remapping printers, new drivers for system and printer, AV scan too.

Now I guess the ideal thing to do would be to upload a spreadsheet so that the code can be viewed by yourselves to help determine a cause perhaps however I am not permitted to do this because of the project that this is.

I would just change his default printer to the correct printer however as this users plots a lot of CAD drawings, he has stipulated that his default printer must be the plotter (and not the HP Printer used for A4 documents & spreadsheets etc).  :(

Any pointers in the right direction would be most appreciated.

Many Thanks,

Question by:steve_york
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:Ashok Dewan
    Which MS Office version are you using on XP and Windows 7 ?

    Author Comment


    It's Office 2007 on both XP and Win7 Machines.

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    I understand why you cannot post the spreadsheet, but it's hard to diagnose without knowing what's going on behind the scenes. Here are some things to try:
    Try changing the user's default printer and see if the problem goes away.
    Try setting another user's default printer to the plotter and see if the problem manifests.
    Try to simplify the spreadsheet to the minimum necessary to reproduce the problem.
    I'm skeptical about the choice of default printer affecting the behavior, but it would be best to either prove or disprove this before looking deeper into the spreadsheet.

    After you simplify the spreadsheet to the minimum necessary to reproduce the problem, if you cannot resolve the problem on your own then determine if there is a way that you can share the simplified result with experts outside your company.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    In Excel, changes made to printer properties in the print preview screen will be remembered when the document is saved. These will often override printer settings.
    Check that there is not some incompatible setting in there relating to the default printer.

    Author Closing Comment

    Morning Experts

    Apologies for the delays on this, but this is resolved now by simplifying the spreadsheet.

    It appears that it was hard coded to look for a certain print (on a decomissioned print server) for that user and not the new print server.

    Not sure what code was changed etc but that's my understanding from the code guru at work who had a look.

    Points go to tdlewis for the suggestion of simplying the code which in turn led to the solution.

    Thanks to all that helped.



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