Microsoft KB Archive/169349

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Article ID: 169349

Article Last Modified on 9/7/2001


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q169349


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you run a Visual Basic for Applications macro that prints a worksheet or a chart, the pages may be printed by the default printer instead of the printer you specified in the macro.


This problem may occur if the following conditions are true:

  • The macro contains a line of code similar to the following:

          ActiveSheet.PrintOut ActivePrinter:="My LaserPrinter"


  • The printer name specified in the ActivePrinter argument is not valid.

    For a printer name to be valid, it must be spelled exactly the same as one of the printers in the Printers dialog box.


Microsoft provides examples of Visual Basic for Applications procedures for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The Visual Basic procedures in this article are provided 'as is' and Microsoft does not guarantee that they can be used in all situations. While Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular macro, they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality, nor will they help you construct macros to meet your specific needs. If you have limited programming experience, you may want to consult one of the Microsoft Solution Providers. Solution Providers offer a wide range of fee-based services, including creating custom macros. For more information about Microsoft Solution Providers, call Microsoft Customer Information Service at (800) 426-9400.

To work around this problem, verify that the printer name specified in the ActivePrinter argument is spelled exactly the same as the printer name in the Printers dialog box.

For example, if the printer name in the Printers dialog box is "My Laser Printer," with spaces between each word, correct the line of code in the "Cause" section to the following:

   ActiveSheet.PrintOut ActivePrinter:="My Laser Printer"


This behavior is by design of Microsoft Excel 97.


In Microsoft Excel, there are two ways to print to a printer other than the default printer. To do this, do either of the following:

  • Use Application.ActivePrinter to change the default printer, print, and then switch back to the original default printer, for example:

          xOriginalPrinter = Application.ActivePrinter
          Application.ActivePrinter = "My LaserPrinter"
          Application.ActivePrinter = xOriginalPrinter


  • Use the ActivePrinter argument to specify a different printer in the PrintOut command, for example:

          ActiveSheet.PrintOut ActivePrinter:="My LaserPrinter"

If you use the first method and specify an invalid printer name, you receive the following error message:

Run-time error '1004':
Application-defined or object-defined error

If you use the second method and specify an invalid printer name, you do not receive an error message. Instead, the pages are printed by the default printer. If the default printer is very busy or is the wrong type of printer (for example, it is not a color printer but you want to print in color), this may be a problem.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbprint KB169349