Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

Managing Local and Network Print Devices

You manage print devices in Windows XP Professional from the Printers And Faxes folder, which is accessible from the Control Panel, or by clicking Start|Printers And Faxes. When working with printing in Windows XP, you need to fully understand the following printing terminology as defined by Microsoft:

  • Printer—A software interface between the operating system and a print device. It defines ports through which print jobs get routed. Printer names direct print jobs to one or more print devices.

  • Print device—A piece of equipment (hardware) that physically produces printed documents. A print device may be attached to a local computer or connected via a network interface.

  • Printer port—A software interface through which print jobs get directed to either a locally attached print device, or a network-connected print device. Windows XP supports local line printer terminal (LPT), COM (serial), and Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports. It also supports network-connected printer port devices such as the Intel NetPort and the Hewlett-Packard (HP) JetDirect.

  • Print server—A computer that serves as the host for printers that are associated with print devices.

  • Printer driver—Software specific to each print device (designed to run in Windows XP) that translates printing commands into printer language codes for each print device. PCL5 and PostScript are examples of two types of printer languages.

  • Print job—The actual document to be printed along with the necessary print processing command.

  • Print resolution—What determines the quality and smoothness of the text or images that the print device will render. This specification is expressed in dots per inch (dpi). Higher dpi numbers generally result in better print quality.

  • Print spooler—The process (service) that runs in the background of Windows XP that initiates, processes, and distributes print jobs. The spooler saves print jobs into a temporary physical file on disk. Print jobs are then despooled and transferred to the appropriate print device.

  • Print queue—A logical "waiting area" where print jobs are temporarily stored until the print device is available and ready to process each job according to the job's priority level, and according to its order within the queue.

Connecting to Local and Network Printers

After you add a local printer to a Windows XP Professional computer, you have the option of sharing it with other users on the network. To add a local printer to your system, perform these steps:

  1. Log on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group.

  2. Click Start|Printers And Faxes to open the Printers And Faxes window.

  3. Click the Add A Printer link from the Printer Tasks pane. The Add Printer Wizard appears. Click Next to continue.

  4. Click the Local Printer button. If the printer that you are adding is not Plug and Play compatible, you may clear the Automatically Detect And Install My Plug And Play Printer checkbox. If the printer is Plug and Play compliant, Windows XP Professional automatically installs and properly configures it for you.

  5. If the printer is not Plug and Play, the Select A Printer Port dialog box appears. Click the port you want to use from the Use The Following Port drop-down list, or click the Create A New Port button and choose the type of port to create from the drop-down list.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Select the printer Manufacturer and Model. Click the Have Disk button if you have a DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, or diskette with the proper printer drivers from the manufacturer. Click the Windows Update button to download the latest drivers available from Microsoft's Web site. You should strive to use only drivers that have been digitally signed by Microsoft, for compatibility.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Enter a name for the printer. The name should not exceed 31 characters, and best practice dictates that the printer name should not contain any spaces or special characters. Specify whether this printer will be designated as the system's default printer.

  10. Click Next.

  11. In the Printer Sharing dialog box, click the Share Name button if you want to share this printer with the network. Enter a share name for the printer; it's a good idea to limit the share name to 14 or fewer characters, and to place no spaces within the share name.

  12. Click Next.

  13. Enter an optional Location name and Comment.

  14. Click Next.

  15. Click Yes and then click Next when prompted to print a test page; it's always a good idea to make sure that the printer has been set up and is working properly.

  16. Click Finish to exit the Add Printer Wizard.

To connect to a network printer, you also use the Add Printer Wizard from the Printers folder. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Log on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group.

  2. Click Start|Printers And Faxes to open the Printers And Faxes window.

  3. Click the Add A Printer link from the Printer Tasks pane. The Add Printer Wizard appears. Click Next to continue.

  4. Click the option button labeled A Network Printer, Or A Printer Attached To Another Computer.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Follow one of these options:

    Select Browse For A Printer, and then click Next.

    Select Connect To This Printer, type in the UNC path for the printer, and then click Next.

  7. Select Connect To A Printer On the Internet Or On A Home Or Office Network, type in the URL address for the printer, and then click Next.

  8. If you choose to browse for a printer, locate the printer from the Browse For Printer dialog box and then click Next.

  9. Click Yes or No when prompted to make the printer the system's default, and click Next.

  10. Click Finish to exit the Add Printer Wizard.

Connecting to Network Printers via the Command Line

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, you can use the net use command to connect to network drive shares. You can also use this command to connect to remote printers from a command prompt window. The syntax is as follows:

net use lptx: \\print_server_name\printer_share_name

Printer ports lpt1, lpt2, and lpt3 are represented by lptx. The net use command is the only way to connect client computers that are running MS-DOS to network printers.

Managing Printers and Print Jobs

From the Printers And Faxes folder, you manage print jobs by double-clicking the printer icon that you want to work with. After you have opened the printer's print queue window, you can pause printing or cancel all documents from the Printer menu. You can also take the printer offline from the Printer menu. If you select an individual print job that is listed, you can Pause, Resume, Start, or Cancel that job by selecting one of these options from the Documents menu. The print queue window itself displays the document name, the status, the document owner, the number of pages for each print job, the size of the job, the time and date that the job was submitted, and the port used.

Members of the Administrators group and members of the Power Users group have permissions to manage print jobs that are listed in the print queue. At the time that users print one or more documents, they get the built-in security principal Creator Owner applied to their user accounts so that they are granted permission to manage documents as well. Users may manage only their own print jobs, unless they are members of the Administrators group or the Power Users group (if the computer is standalone or a member of a workgroup), or members of the Print Operators group or the Server Operators group (if the Windows XP print server is a member of a Windows domain). Users can also manage other users' print jobs if they have been granted the Allow Manage Documents permission.


Windows XP has dropped support for the Data Link Control (DLC) protocol, which is used by some older Hewlett-Packard (HP) Jet Direct cards and Jet Direct print server devices. These older devices should be upgraded to newer HP network interface cards and print devices that support TCP/IP and the standard port monitor.

Configuring Print Server and Printer Properties

A Windows XP Professional computer becomes a print server when you physically connect a printer to the system and then share that printer with the network. You can easily configure many of the properties of your Windows XP Professional system as a print server by selecting File|Server Properties from the Printers And Faxes window. You can configure many print server settings—such as changing the location of the Spool folder—from the Print Server Properties dialog box. Using this dialog box means that you don't have to edit the Registry directly to make changes to your Windows XP print server configuration settings.

By right-clicking one of the available printer icons in the Printers And Faxes folder and choosing Properties, you can configure that printer's settings and options. The printer Properties dialog box contains six tabs (seven tabs for a color printer): General, Sharing, Ports, Advanced, Security, Device Settings, and Color Management (for a color printer).

The General Tab

From the General tab, you can work with the following settings:

  • Add or modify printer location and comment information.

  • Set printing preferences such as portrait or landscape orientation.

  • Select paper source and quality.

  • Print a test page.

The Sharing Tab

The Sharing tab displays the following options:

  • Share the printer, change the network share name, or stop sharing the printer.

  • Install additional printer drivers for client computers that use different operating systems or different Windows NT CPU platforms.


Windows XP print server computers automatically download the correct printer drivers for client computers running Windows 95, Windows 98/Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP that connect to the print server, as long as the correct drivers have been installed on the print server.

The Ports Tab

On the Ports tab, you have these configuration options:

  • Select a port to print to.

  • Add, configure, and delete ports.

  • Enable bidirectional printing support.

  • Enable printer pooling, which enables you to select two or more identical print devices that are configured as one logical printer; print jobs are directed to the first available print device.

The Advanced Tab

On the Advanced tab, you work with scheduling and spooling settings, like these:

  • Set time availability limits.

  • Set print job priority.

  • Change the printer driver or add a new driver.

  • Spool print jobs and start printing immediately, or start printing after the last page has spooled.

  • Print directly to the printer; do not spool print jobs.

  • Hold mismatched documents.

  • Print spooled documents first.

  • Retain documents after they have been printed.

  • Enable advanced printing features (such as metafile spooling) and enable advanced options (such as Page Order, Booklet Printing, and Pages Per Sheet); advanced options vary depending upon printer capabilities.

  • Set printing defaults.

  • Select a different print processor: RAW, EMF, or Text.

  • Specify a separator page.

The Security Tab

You can configure the following security settings with the Security tab:

  • Set permissions for users and groups (similar to NTFS file and folder permissions): Allow or Deny the Print, Manage Printers, and Manage Documents.

  • Set up printer auditing (similar to NTFS file and folder access auditing) via the Auditing tab by clicking the Advanced button.

  • Take ownership of the printer (similar to taking ownership of NTFS files and folders) via the Owner tab by clicking the Advanced button.

  • View the effective permissions for the printer (similar to viewing the effective permissions for NTFS files and folders) via the Effective Permissions tab by clicking the Advanced button.


For a Windows XP computer that is not a domain member, the default security permissions for printers are as follows: Administrators–Allow Print, Allow Manage Printers, and Allow Manage Documents; Creator Owner–Allow Manage Documents; Everyone–Allow Print; Power Users–Allow Print, Allow Manage Printers, and Allow Manage Documents. For a Windows XP computer that is joined to a domain, the default security permissions for printers are as follows: Administrators–Allow Print, Allow Manage Printers, and Allow Manage Documents; Creator Owner–Allow Manage Documents; Everyone–Allow Print; Print Operators and Server Operators–Allow Print, Allow Manage Printers, and Allow Manage Documents.

The Device Settings Tab

The Device Settings tab enables you to configure printer-specific settings. The available settings on this tab vary depending on the manufacturer and the model of the printer that you are working with. For example, many printers enable you to configure paper tray assignments, font cartridge settings, and any installable options such as printer memory settings.

Using the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP)

Windows XP Professional computers can connect to printers that are attached to Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows .NET Server print servers by using a Web browser and a URL, instead of connecting via the GUI or via the command line using a UNC path. IPP works over a corporate intranet or through an Internet connection. IPP gives users the ability to print over an Internet connection. IIS version 5 or later must be running on the print server computer. You can enter one of two available URLs into your Web browser:

  • http://print_server_name/printers—This address connects you to the Web page for the Printers And Faxes folder on the Windows XP print server computer (however, fax devices are not displayed in the browser window).

  • http://print_server_name/printer_share_name—This address connects you to the Web page for the print queue folder for the printer that you specify, as shown in Figure 3.20.

Figure 3.20 The Web browser interface for a network printer that uses IPP.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020