Why are blank pages printing with Word?

Babs, a guest reader from Long Island, NY emailed me yesterday morning:


A former student of yours in NYC told me to contact you. Sometimes when I print a one page letter on Word I get a blank second page too. Can you help?


After writing to Babs, I learned that she was an experienced typist who had spent as much time on typewriters as she had on word processors like Word.

In my teaching experience, I have seen many people who are accustomed to using typewriters —however long ago that may have been— have a habit of hitting the “Enter” key several times when they finish typing a letter. Typewriter users would often do this to eject the paper sheet from the typewriter.

Word Status BarOn a word processor this often results in the cursor going onto a second page. A glance at the status bar in the lower left hand corner of the monitor will show the ‘typing cursor location’ and ‘page count’ (shown in picture at right). The message “Page 2 of 2” means that the cursor is on the second page of a two page document. Even though there is nothing typed on the second page the printer will load and eject a second blank page.

Okay, but how do I fix this?

You just need to move your typing cursor to the end of the document and tap the ‘Delete’ key several times until the cursor appears at the end of the last word in your document.

A quick way to get to the end of a document is to use CTRL + End. (Hold the ‘CTRL’ key with one hand, and tap the ‘End’ key with your other hand). The cursor will move to the end of the document.

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