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How to install a TEST printer driver

Why am I here?

You've probably arrived here because someone on a PowerPoint help forum or newsgroup sent you the link.

And you're probably wondering what a printer driver has to do with the problem you're trying to solve. Maybe you're even wondering whether the person who sent you here even paid attention to your question.

Bear with us. They had a very good reason for sending you here. Following the advice here can help correct all manner of odd problems with PowerPoint.

Printer driver? You've got to be kidding!

No joke. PowerPoint relies heavily on the default printer driver installed on your PC. It shouldn't, but it does.

If you want PowerPoint to work reliably, you need:

If you don't meet those three requirements, PowerPoint can exhibit a wide variety of problems including

In fact, printer driver problems can cause so many bizarre problems that we recommend following the steps below as a general troubleshooting procedure whenever PowerPoint misbehaves. It only takes a few minutes and makes no permanent changes to your PC.

And remember: It's just a test. You needn't use the driver to print anything. You don't need the actual printer, just the driver. And once you're done with the test, you can delete the driver if you like (though we'd suggest leaving it installed for future tests, rather than having to re-install the driver if you need it again.)

Please follow these instructions below exactly. If you skip steps, choose a different driver or use a different method of installing the driver, the test won't be valid.

Install a TEST printer driver

The steps may vary and the screens will look different depending on the version of Windows you have. The general procedure is the same, though.

In Vista:

The Add Printer Wizard Welcome screen

Local or Network Printer

Select a Printer Port

Install Printer Software

Name Your Printer

Printer Sharing

Print Test Page

Completing the Add Printer Wizard

If you don't see "Use this printer as the default printer" in the "Name printer" screen, finish installing the printer, then click Start, Settings, Printers; rightclick the printer you just installed and click "Set as default printer" from the pop-up menu that appears.

Test and evaluate the results

Once you've installed the printer driver and set it as your default printer, start PowerPoint again and test to see if the previous problems still occur.

If the problems have not gone away, it means that your original printer driver and setup were not at fault. You can delete the test printer driver if you like.

If the problems no longer occur, it means that there was a problem with your previous printer driver or with the way it was installed. To pursue the issue further:

Did this solve your problem? If so, please consider supporting the PPT FAQ with a small PayPal donation.
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How to install a TEST printer driver
Last update 07 June, 2011