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QuickBooks Tip – Upgrading to 2011 Forms & Template Errors

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Upgrading to QuickBooks Premier Account 2011 caused some errors with my existing forms and form templates.

QuickBooks errorsEarlier this week I had to bite the bullet and upgrade my own QuickBooks file, moving it from the 2008 Premier Accountant version to the 2011 Premier Accountant Edition; as part of our own move from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Yes, folks just like many of you we have been moving software and multitudes of data from XP machines to Windows 7 and updating our QuickBooks company data file.  Not a fun task, but a necessary one.

Upgrading our QuickBooks file was an easy task, we have a rather large QuickBooks file and the time it took to do the actual update seemed to be much faster than with previous upgrades.  Our file seemed to be in good shape after the update, numbers on my reports matched, nothing missing – so I’m thinking yeah, this was easy!

All seemed to be good — until I had to go look at a Customer Invoice and then the fun and errors began.  We kept getting these odd, and very unhelpful, “Template Error” messages, but could view the invoice without a problem on our screens.

Now, I had seen posts on other forums and groups that I belong to, where people were having trouble importing a customized template from an older version of QuickBooks to the 2011 version, but this wasn’t what I was trying to do.

I just figured that for whatever reason our invoice templates didn’t upgrade correctly.  A couple of rebuilds later, still no luck.  Next I created a portable company file and then opened that portable file – still no luck.  Next, I decided to start from scratch, chose one of the QuickBooks standard templates, made a copy of it, and set about to customize it – now bear in mind, I did little to customize it, mainly removed the print ability of some columns and changed some field headers.  Still the same errors.  By now I’m pretty darn frustrated, but decided to try one more thing — and that was to print the darn thing.

Trying to print the invoice, produced a much more helpful error message, it told me that I didn’t have an Arial W1 font installed on my computer.  So now I turn to my trusty sidekick, Google, and do a search for an Arial W1 font.  Come to find out, an Arial W1 font is a special font that you have to BUY!  Uh, thanks — but NO THANKS!

So off I go to my Template, open it in the Layout Designer and begin to search for a section of my form that uses this font.  Come to find out, in the Layout Designer, the form name (Invoice, Estimate, Purchase Order, Sales Order, etc.) if the field that used the Arial W1 font.  A simple font change and a save solved the problem – but only after a couple of hours of frustration.

So, if you’ve recently upgrade to QuickBooks 2011 and are experiencing “Template Errors” or “Missing Arial W1 font” messages, it’s a quick fix.

  • From the Edit menu, choose Templates
  • Find the template(s) that you use all the time in your business.  Select it, double-click to Edit.
  • Click the Layout Designer button
  • Find the form title (Invoice, Estimate, Purchase Order, etc.).  Right click and choose Properties.
  • Click the Font button, and change the font to something else, a standard Arial will do.
  • Click the OK button 4 times.
  • Try printing your form again.

I hope this article will save you from some of the frustration that I experienced or provide you with what is really a pretty simple fix, once you know what you need to fix!

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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