Windows 7 - Installing and Configuring a Printer

If your printer is already installed and operational at this point, you can skip this section and skim ahead for others that may be of interest. However, if you need to install a new printer, modify or customize your current installation, or add additional printers to your setup, read on.

You might want to add a printer in a few different instances, not all of which are obvious:

• You’re connecting a new physical printer directly to your computer (obvious).

• You’re connecting a new physical printer to your network (obvious).

• You want to create a formatted print file, usually PostScript file, that can be sent to a print shop (not so obvious).

• You want to set up different printer preference schemes, such as “black and white only” or “photo quality,” for a single physical printer, so that you can simply select a printer icon instead of having to manually change your printer settings for each print job (obscure but useful time-saving idea).

The basic game plan for installing and configuring a printer is as follows:

• Read your printer’s installation manual and follow the instructions for Windows 7 or, if there are none, the instructions for Windows Vista, XP, or 2000.

• Plug in the printer. Many newer printers are detected when you plug them into the parallel or USB port. Your printer might be found and then configure itself automatically. If it does, you can skip on down to “Printing from Your Applications,”

• If the printer doesn’t configure itself, you can run the Add New Printer Wizard (or use a setup program, if one is supplied with your printer).

At this point, you should have a functioning printer. You might want to make alterations and customizations to the printer setup, though. For example, you can do the following:

• Right-click the icon for the printer you’ll be using most often and select the Default Printer option. This way, your printer will be preselected as the printer of choice when you use the Print function of Windows applications.

• Set job defaults pertaining to paper tray, two-sided printing, scaling, type of paper feed, halftone imaging, printer setup information (such as a PostScript “preamble”), ink color, and paper orientation. These will be the default print settings that every Windows application will start with when you select this printer.

• Check and possibly alter device-specific settings such as DPI (dots per inch) and font substitution.

• Share the printer and specify its share name so that other network users can use your printer.

• If you are on a network and want to control who gets to use your printer, set permissions on the Security tab of the Properties dialog box. (You must have Computer Administrator privileges to do this.)

Before you buy a new piece of hardware, it’s always a good idea to check the Windows Compatibility Center on the Web at Or, check the device’s box, manual, or manufacturer’s website to ensure that it’s compatible with Windows 7 or Vista. If the device is listed as compatible with XP but not Vista or Windows 7, you might be able to use the device’s XP software, but it’s not guaranteed. You should know, though, that Windows 7 comes with preinstalled drivers for more printers than are listed in the Windows Compatiblity Center. Before assuming that your old printer isn’t supported, go through the manual installation procedure to see if your printer make and model is listed as an installation choice. If it’s not, check the manufacturer’s website for a downloadable driver.

Some printer manufacturers ask you to install their driver software before you plug in and turn on the printer for the first time. Heed their advice! If you plug the printer in first, Windows may install incorrect drivers. If this happens to you, unplug the printer, delete the printer icon, run the manufacturer’s setup program, and follow their instructions from there.

You can select a network printer as your default printer even if you move from one network to another (as you might with a laptop that you use at work and at home). Windows 7 is supposed to remember which printer is the default printer on each network you use.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth

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