We recently upgraded the Global Print Driver in our site (Windows 2003 server/Windows XP SP3 clients, Office XP SP3) to PCL 5 version 5.216.1200.0.0 (6/10/2011) in conjunction with the deployment of several new Workcentre 75xx units. Since the upgrade, we have noted the following behaviour when printing from Microsoft Word. This occurs intermittently and is difficult to reproduce on demand.
When a system is in the problem state, documents printed from Microsoft Word containing objects (tables, text boxes, etc.) with a background set to a white fill print with these objects completely blacked out. Image samples are below. Only objects with a white fill colour are blacked out on printing - other objects in the document with no fill are printed normally.
The following actions can alleviate the problem:
-setting the fill property of the affected object(s) to "no fill" and reprinting
-printing the document to a different Xerox printer (also using the same version of the Global Print Driver)
-closing Word, reopening Word and reprinting the document
We have performed extensive troubleshooting on this issue, and believe it to be a driver-related issue. We are in the process of testing this issue against the native drivers (both PCL and PostScript) of the models affected (7545, 7556), but this work is lengthy as the issue is difficult to reproduce on demand.
I post this here in case anyone else has experienced similar issues using this or any other driver. I recognize that much in the computing environment can and does contribute to this type of result, but it is noteworthy that the only change applied in this environment was the insertion of an updated version of the Global Print Driver, and the use of new Xerox Workcentre models (7545 instead of 7345). Our prior version of the Global Print Driver was PCL5, 0.3.6001.22116, from 2008.
Note the blue boxes below are redactions, not printer artifacts. The black boxes result from printing, and are not displayed on screen or in print preview.