How to Print Microsoft Word Documents in Black and White

427633 How to Print Microsoft Word Documents in Black and White

Printing documents from Microsoft Word in black and white instead of color can save significant money on ink costs. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to configure Word and your printer to print documents in black and white.

Why Print in Black and White?

Here are some of the benefits of printing Word documents in black and white instead of color:

  • Saves money on ink costs – Black ink cartridges are less expensive than color cartridges. Printing in black and white allows you to conserve color ink.
  • Looks more professional for some documents – Documents like resumes and reports often look more professional when printed in black and white instead of color.
  • Uses less ink – Black and white printing consumes less ink than color printing. This allows you to print more pages before needing to replace cartridges.
  • Better for the environment – Using less color ink is better for the environment and creates less waste from cartridges.

Change Default Printer Settings to Black and White

The easiest way to ensure all Word documents print in black and white by default is to change your printer settings in Windows:

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for “Devices and Printers”
  2. Right click on your printer and choose “Printing Preferences”
  3. Look for options related to “Color” or “Grayscale”. Choose “Grayscale” or “Black and white”.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

Now whenever you print from Word, documents will default to black and white or grayscale. You can still manually change to color on a per-page basis when needed.

Change Printer Settings When Printing

Alternatively, you can change your printer options whenever you print a document to print in black and white:

  1. In Word, click “File” then choose “Print”
  2. Select your printer and click “Printer Properties”
  3. Look for the setting related to “Color” or “Grayscale” and choose “Grayscale” or “Black and white”
  4. Click OK to apply the changes only to the current print job

Print Specific Word Pages in Black and White

When printing longer Word documents, you may want to print most pages in color but specific pages in black and white only. Here is how to do that:

  1. In Word, click “File” and choose “Print”
  2. Under Settings, click on “Color” and choose “Black and white”
  3. Under “Print All Pages”, choose “Custom Print”
  4. Enter the specific page numbers you want to print in black and white separated by commas
  5. Click “Print” to print those pages in black and white

You can repeat steps 2-5 to print additional page ranges in color if needed.

Troubleshooting Black and White Printing Issues

Here are some troubleshooting tips for resolving issues with printing Word docs in black and white:

  • Update your printer driver – An outdated driver can cause color/grayscale issues
  • Try a print test page – Helps narrow down whether issue is Word or printer
  • Disable background printing in Word’s settings
  • Test in other programs like WordPad – Helps determine if issue is isolated to Word
  • Repair your Office installation to fix corrupt files
  • Use Windows’ generic text-only printer driver to test

Reaching out to your printer manufacturer for help can also be useful if troubleshooting does not resolve the issues.

Best Practices for Printing in Black and White

Follow these best practices when printing Word documents in black and white:

  • Preview first – Use the print preview feature to check if images, watermarks and other elements render correctly in black and white before printing multiple copies.
  • Test on one page first – Print one test page before printing the entire document to ensure the output looks correct.
  • Use high contrast colors – When using color elements like text and highlights, opt for dark colors like black, dark blue or red rather than light colors that may not show up well.
  • Check margins – Reduce margins if the black and white output is cutting off text on some pages.


Printing in black and white instead of color can save significantly on ink costs for Word documents. Configure your default printer settings to grayscale, choose black and white options when printing, and troubleshoot issues with drivers and Office repairs when needed. Following best practices for contrast, previewing, and testing will also ensure your documents print accurately in black and white.