Microsoft Word/Printing from MS Word


I'm trying to print a document from Microsoft Word, but when I print it, a few question marks appear on the hard copy that aren't on the screen.  I tried saving it as a PDF and then printing from that, but the PDF file displayed the hidden question marks that I can't see on my word document.

I think the question marks are user-inputed and not generated from Word itself.  I just don't know how to make them disappear!

When you display nonprinting characters (Ctrl+*), which should include Hidden text, do you see the question marks? If so, check to see whether Word is set to print Hidden text. If so, you should also see the question marks in Print Preview (not Print Layout view).

If you don't see the question marks in Print Preview, try pressing Alt+F9 to display field codes. Do you see anything between curved brackets (braces) at the location of the question marks? If so, what is the text of these fields? If they're not needed, you can just select and delete them.

If neither of the above suggestions is helpful, send a *small* sample of the document containing one or more instances of the problem to me at, and I'll take a look.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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