Comments in balloons suddenly go missing when printing in Word 2010.
March 27, 2013 12:29 PM   Subscribe

When I edit a document in Word 2010, I use Track Changes and insert comments (using balloons to call them out). 90% of the time, authors and I work back and forth without having to print these documents, but occasionally, printing them with the comments visible (i.e., with the balloons appearing in the right margin) is necessary. This has never been a problem. UNTIL NOW.

I'm using Word 2010 on a Windows machine at work. We switched to Word 2010 from 2007 sometime last year, but this problem has only recently (and inexplicably) started happening. (No, I can't switch to a Mac or another operating system.)


- All comments/balloons are visible on screen as normal.

- Preferences are set correctly in the two places I'm aware of where they need to be set (i.e., Review -> Show Markup -> Balloons -> Show Comments and Formatting in Balloons, as well as File -> Print -> Print All Pages -> Print Markup).

- The changes that are tracked in the text (i.e., struck-through deletions and underlined insertions) print normally.

- When printed, the document text is condensed and the right-hand margin is grayed out in order to make room for the balloons (as it normally does), but the comments/balloons simply aren't there.

- Tracked changes and balloons appear as normal in Print Preview.

- It's not consistent; sometimes I can print and balloons will show up, and sometimes I can't. I have no idea what the difference is between the various instances and documents where this is the case, except possibly EVIL.

- Microsoft's Word 2010 Help feature is useless; the only help I can find shows me how to set my preferences, which are already set correctly.
posted by scody to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've noticed some odd problems if a document is saved as a .doc (old Word format) instead of as a .docx. Check to see if the files you have problems with are saved as .doc—if so, resave them as .docx and see if they print correctly.
posted by Eicats at 12:56 PM on March 27, 2013

Response by poster: Nope, they're all .docx files already. (Shoot, I was hoping that would be it!)
posted by scody at 1:18 PM on March 27, 2013

Best answer: It appears others have had this problem. I found a few suggestions on this page. A couple of things that have worked for other people, include switching back and forth from the "show markup" option before printing; copying all to a new document and printing; and another method of closing/reopening that seemed to work.

It could be some weird incompatability with your print driver or maybe something in the tracked changes that's causing some kind of corruption in the file. Hard to say, but it doesn't look like there's an easy fix—hope one of those workarounds does the trick for you!
posted by Eicats at 2:35 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: another method of closing/reopening that seemed to work.

AHA! The first suggested fix on that page appears to do the trick (though I'm crossing my fingers and knocking on wood so that I don't jinx it):

1. close Word
2. reopen Word
3. open file through Word (rather than from the shortcut to the file on my desktop, as I normally do)
4. print as normal

posted by scody at 2:49 PM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

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