Microsoft KB Archive/254468

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Visio: Lines That Appear Gray on the Screen Are Printed in Black or Not at All

PSS ID Number: 254468

Article Last Modified on 6/4/2003

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Technical Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visio Standard 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Technical 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Enterprise 5.0x

This article was previously published under Q254468


Lines or text that are gray or colored on the screen are printed in either black or white when you print the file to certain types of laser printers. When the lines or text are printed in white, they are not visible on the printed page. "Lines" in Visio programs can mean 1-D lines that you draw with the line tool, connectors, and outlines of shapes.


The PCL drivers used by laser printers for Microsoft Windows 95 and 98 and Microsoft Windows NT do not support gray text and lines. Some of the later model laser printers have an option to print either PCL or PostScript. Using the PostScript option may allow you to print gray lines and text.


To create gray lines on the drawing that will appear gray on the printout, create thin rectangles of the appropriate length and width, using the rectangle tool. Set the fill color to gray and the line style to none.

You can also add a setting to the Visio.ini file that will force all lines and text to be printed in black.

To add the setting, quit Visio, and open the Visio.ini file, located in the Visio\System folder, in a text editor such as Notepad. Then add the following line to the [application] section:


To restore the default setting, replace the value "3" with "0."

Alternatively, you can find out if your printer driver includes a setting that will print all colors as black. This setting will affect fill colors as well as text and lines.

Keywords: kbprint KB254468
Technology: kbVisio2000Search kbVisio500xSearch kbVisioSearch kbZNotKeyword3