How to Fix Outlook Printing
By Robyn Murray
Updated September 28, 2017
Printing emails should, theoretically, be a simple process. This seemingly simple task, however, has caused major headaches and rants of frustration from many Microsoft Outlook users, who have been handed prints with skewed margins, missing text and minute fonts. Outlook’s printing options came up empty for solutions to this exasperating issue, but the answer has been pinpointed to a unique incompatibility with Internet Explorer Version 7. Now that the problem has been identified, the solution is simple.
Change Printing Options on Internet Explorer Version 7
Open Internet Explorer.
Open the pull-down "Print" menu on the web browser’s toolbar at the top of the page.
Select the "Page Setup" option, and click to open the menu.
Change the margin size settings to match those currently selected on Microsoft Outlook.
Click "Change Font," and change the font and font size to be larger or smaller as needed.
Check all other Page Setup options, including Page Size, Portrait or Landscape, Header and Footer, and alter the settings to match those currently selected on Microsoft Outlook.
Save settings by clicking "OK" and closing the menu.
Test print a new HTML email on Microsoft Outlook. The email should print correctly.
Change Email Format From HTML to Rich Text or Plain Text
Open Microsoft Outlook.
Click on the "Tools" tab at the top of the page.
Select "Options," and click to open.
Select the "Mail Format" tab on the Options pop-up menu.
Select "Rich Text" or "Plain Text" where HTML is currently selected under “Compose in this message format.”
Upgrade Internet Explorer
Copy and paste this Web site address into your web browser: http://www.Microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx?WT.srch=1
Click “Download Now” on the main page to download the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Click "Run," and follow the prompts to install the software on your computer.
Microsoft Outlook 2003 has caused email printing problems because it was programmed to pull its print options from Internet Explorer. For this reason, changing the print options on Microsoft Outlook does not solve the problem because these directions are overridden by the options stored in Internet Explorer.
Only Internet Explorer Version 7 appears to cause this issue. Later and earlier versions do not contain this glitch. Also, this problem only applies to HTML emails, which is why changing the mail format to Rich Text or Plain Text is another workaround solution.
Robyn Murray is a journalist based in Omaha, Neb. She has reported for national and international media including National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Business Day in Johannesburg. Murray holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.