So far, our discussions have centered around file management, but saved data isn't the end of the story. You'll frequently need to print data to share it, review it, or simply store a hard copy of it. In this next section, you'll learn a little about print management. In this section, you'll learn the following:
How to install a new printer and set the system's default printer
How to print, pause, restart, and delete a print task using a print manager
The critical component in any print management scheme is the printer. That printer can be connected to your local system or via a network.
Changing the Default Printer
Change the default printer from an installed printer list.
Your software applications will send data to the default printer. By default, we mean the printer that the system recognizes as the printer to use unless otherwise instructed.
If you have more than one printer connected, you should set one as the default. To do so, open the Control Panel, click the Printers and Other Hardware link, and then click the View Installed Printers or Fax Printers. Right-click the icon that represents the printer you want to be the default, and choose Set as Default icon. Doing so displays a small check next to the icon as a visual indication of that setting, as shown in Figure 3.38.
Figure 3.38 Make a printer the default printer.
Installing a New Printer
Install a new printer on the computer.
Before your software applications can send data to a printer, the system must recognize the printer. That means, once you connect the printer to the CPU, you must then install the printer. Generally, you're just copying special software files known as print drivers so your system and the new printer can communicate. To install a printer, follow these steps:
Connect the printer to the CPU as instructed in your documentation.
Open the Control Panel and click the Printers and Other Hardware link.
Under Pick a Task, click the Add Printer link. Doing so launches the Add Printer Wizard. This wizard will ask you a few questions about your new printer and then integrate the printer with your system. Just answer each question and click Next to continue. You'll need to know the following:
Know whether the printer is connected directly to the local system or through a network.
If the system isn't a plug-and-play device (one that just works as soon as you plug it in), you might need to copy a print driver. In some cases, you can download the file. Most of the time, the file is included on a CD-ROM that comes with the printer.
You might be asked to identify the printer's manufacturer and its exact model name and number.
It makes sense that if you have a printer and it's installed, you'll want to use it!
Printing a Text Document
Print a document from a text-editing application.
To print a file from a text-editing application, first launch the application; we'll use Notepad for this, so select Start, All Programs, Accessories, Notepad. Now select Open from the File menu to open the document that you want to print. Select Print from the File menu to open the Print dialog box and click the Print button to print your document.
Viewing Print Progress
View a print job's progress using a desktop print manager.
While you're waiting, you can check on a print job's progress by viewing the print manager. The printer might display this print manager automatically or you might have to open it yourself by clicking the print manager icon in the taskbar's tray. The icon might resemble a printer or a document. Figure 3.39 shows a typical print manager window with a print task in progress.
Figure 3.39 Viewing the progress of a print job.
Manipulating a Print Job
Pause, restart, and delete a print job using a desktop print manager.
From the print manager, you can manipulate the print task in a number of ways. You can pause it and then restart it or completely delete the task before it's finished. After selecting the appropriate print job in the print manager, choose the appropriate option from the Printer (or similar) menu shown in Figure 3.40.
Figure 3.40 Manipulating a print task in the print manager.