FIX: Printer syntax error offending command in Windows

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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If you are using a Postscript printer, when printing documents you may encounter printer syntax error offending command error. The full error reads: ERROR: syntaxerror OFFENDING COMMAND: –nostringval– STACK: mark

This error can occur while printing from a photo viewer or editing software as well as word processors like Microsoft Wordpad.

If you are also troubled by this error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the Printer syntax error offending command in Windows 10.

How to fix syntax error offending command on printers

1. Convert the file to PDF

Printer syntax error offending command

  1. Open the document in MS Word.
  2. Click on File and select Save as.
  3. Click the drop-down menu for Save as and select PDF from the options.
  4. Enter a name and save the file.
  5. Open the PDF file in a PDF viewer and try to print the file. The printer should print the file successfully.

Several users have reported that converting the word document to a PDF file as helped them resolve the issue. While this is just a workaround, it should help you to take a printout when required.

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2. Remove and re-add the printer

Printer syntax error offending command


  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Go to Devices.
  3. Select Printers and Scanners.
  4. Scroll down to your installed printer list.
  5. Select your printer and click on Remove device.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the action.

2.1 Uninstall the software

PSL6 print driver


  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type control and click OK.
  3. In the Control Panel window, go to Programs > Programs and Features.
  4. Select your printer app from the list of installer apps.
  5. Click on Uninstall. Click Yes if prompted by the UAC.
  6. Follow on-screen instructions to remove the software.

2.2. Add the printer

Printer syntax error offending command

  1. Download the latest version of your printer‘s software. You can download it from the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Install the printer software.
  3. Next, click on Start > Settings and select Device.
  4. Click on Printers and scanners.
  5. Click on Add a printer or scanner.
  6. Follow on-screen instructions to install the printer.
  7. Now try to print using the newly added printer and check for any improvements.

3. Use HP universal print drivers

PSL6 print driver

  1. Press the Windows key and search for control.
  2. Click and open Control Panel.
  3. Go to Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers.
    PSL6 print driver
  4. Select your printer from the list and click on Print server properties.
  5. In the Print Server Properties window, select the printer driver.
  6. Click the Remove button. Click Yes to confirm the action.
  7. Close the Properties window and the Control Panel.

3.1 Download HP Universal Print Drivers

PSL6 print driver

  1. Go to HP software and driver download page.
  2. Download and install the latest version of the HP Universal Print driver.
  3. Make sure you re-add the printer and check for any improvements.
    • Refer to Method 2

The printer syntax error offending command is a common error that can occur due to various reasons. In this article, we have listed a workaround as well as some quick fixes to help you resolve the issue.

If you’re aware of another fix or workaround for this printer error, let us know about it by leaving a message in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about printer errors

  • What is a PostScript error?

PostScript errors occur when the interpreter cannot read the PostScript code or the PostScript code exceeds the limits in the page description language.

  • What does offending command mean?

The offending command is an error message that indicates the command that caused a specific problem. You can use this information to look at the root-causes of the issue when trying to troubleshoot the problem.

  • How do I fix PostScript errors?

Here’s how you can fix PostScript errors when printing: try printing the same document again, use a different computer, install the latest printer driver updates, run Windows 10’s built-in printer troubleshooter and reset the printer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has since been updated for freshness and accuracy.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2020 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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