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Printer printing symbols instead of words


Printers are very important to our everyday lives, and we are using them to benefit us and others. Printers take what we send to them and put it on paper using liquid ink or dry toner powder. From time to time, printers may output things other than what we intend them to. There may be a case where a printer printing symbols instead of words.Printer printing symbols instead of words

Printers are machines that put out what is put into them, however, between the computer and the printer there may be other things that cause printers to print out other than what is sent to them. Your printer may be printing symbols instead of the documents that you sent, there are ways to troubleshoot and fix this problem.

Printer printing symbols instead of words

If your Printer prints symbols or gibberish instead of text or words, then follow these suggestions to resolve the issue successfully.

  1. Incorrect application
  2. Corrupt font
  3. Bad connection to the computer
  4. Troubleshoot the Printer
  5. Reinstall the printer driver

1] Incompatible application

You would think that applications would open files that are compatible with them; however, some applications will open files that are not fully compatible with them. The application will open and display the file properly; however, you may notice problems when printing the document. The incompatible software may cause the printer to output symbols instead of the correct contents that are shown on the screen in the document.

If the printer is outputting symbols instead of the contents of the document, check to see that the document is opened in a compatible document. you can open the document in another application and then attempt to print it again. If the correct contents are printed then the problem was caused by the other application.

2] Corrupt font

Corrupt font files can cause your printer to output symbols instead of the correct content on the document. there can be a case where two different font files may have the same name and the Operating System may have problems deciding which to use. This can cause the printing of symbols or things other than what is present in the document. you may be using a downloaded font that is not properly made. This can cause problems when you attempt to print.

This first solution may be acting instead of reacting, it entails making sure that you download font files from reputable sources. You should also test your fonts when they are downloaded so that when you have an important document to print, there are no problems. Having these printing issues can disrupt work and use up valuable time. Corrupt font files can also slow down your computer or cause applications to crash.

3] Bad connection to the computer

Printers can print out symbols or garbage if the connection between them and the computer is bad. The connection may be USB or wireless or even over a network using cables. If the connection is bad this could interfere with the date that is sent to the printer.

Diagnose a wireless connection to a printer that is connected wirelessly. Check to see if there may be other devices that may be interfering with the signal. You may also have to connect the printer directly to the computer and see if this helps. If the printer is connected using USB or using other cables over a network, check to see if the cables are damaged or loose. Check the ends of the USB cable if they have rust. Rust may develop on cables depending on the area that you are in and how they are stored. Rust can interfere with the proper connection of the cable.

4] Troubleshoot the Printer

Your printer may print symbols or other garbage instead of the information in the document if the printer driver is corrupt or damaged. The printer driver goes between the computer and the printer and if the driver is corrupt or damaged, this can affect the printer’s output to paper.


You can choose to run the Printer Troubleshooter as follows:

  • Click Search and type Troubleshooting settings, click on Troubleshoot settings.
  • The Troubleshooter page will open, click on Other troubleshooters to bring up the other troubleshooters that are available.
  • When the Other troubleshoot window appears, click the Run button beside Printer.
  • Windows will run troubleshooting on the printer.

When the troubleshooting is finished, Windows will display a result. You may be asked to take action and confirm the solutions presented.

5] Reinstall the printer driver

If the troubleshooting does not solve the problem, you can uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.

Read: How to Enable or disable Printer Sharing with Windows Sandbox

Why is my PDF printing in symbols?

A PDF file may be printed as symbols if non-standard font encoding was used when creating the document. The characters affected may not map properly to Unicode. To fix this issue, the document has to be remade, or change the font from the source file if another file format was converted to PDF.

Read: Printer only printing Half Page

Why is the printer not printing even though it has ink?

A printer may not print if the cartridge is not installed properly. The cartridge may have to be removed and reinstalled properly. The problem may also be caused by the plastic was not properly removed from new inks. The printer may refuse to print if the cartridges are clogged, this can happen if the ink cartridges are open and the printer has not been used for a long time.

Printer printing symbols instead of the correct document

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