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Printing PowerPoint Presentations to a Black and White Printer

Have you had trouble printing your PowerPoint presentation to a black and white printer? If you are using a dark background with white or a light-colored text, you can run into trouble getting a good result when printing.

Below is an example of printing to Pure Black and White - the Extension Service text will not print.

Example of poor printing when printing pure black and white

Below is an example of printing to Grayscale - in this case the text or copy will get lost in the dark background.

Example of printing using grayscale setting

Go to print (“File,” “Print”) and select the printer to which you will be sending the file. Now look under “Settings.” Select how many slides you want printed and how many you want to print on a page.

The last item under “Settings” will give you the opportunity to select how you want them printed (Color, Grayscale or Pure Black and White). For best results when printing slides with white or light text on a dark background, select “Color” from this drop-down menu, even if you’re printing to a black and white printer.

If you want a clean black text on a white background printout of your slides, select “Pure Black and White” from the drop-down menu. However, to get this function to work, you first must go to Microsoft Support . Click on the “Fix it” button and then click on “Run” in the File Download dialog box. Follow the steps in the “Fix it” wizard.

Once you have installed this fix successfully, you will need to restart PowerPoint. Open your presentation and go to Print again. This time, select “Pure Black and White” from the “Settings” drop-down menu. This setting now will drop the dark background and convert your light-colored text to black. However, there is a drawback to printing this way. If you have logos or other graphics that are light-colored, they still will print as a light color. For instance, a white NDSU Extension Service logo will print white and therefore not be visible in the printout.

David Haasser, Graphic Designer, (701) 231-8620

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