Adding and managing printers

To add a new local printer to your computer system in the Devices and Printers window, follow these steps:

1. Click the Add a Printer button on the Devices and Printers window toolbar to start the Add Printer Wizard, make sure that the Add Local Printer option is selected, and then click Next.

2. Select the port for the printer to use in the Use an Existing Port dropdown list in the Select a Printer Port dialog box and then click Next.

3. Click the manufacturer and the model of the printer in the Manufacturers and Printers list boxes, respectively, of the Install Printer Driver dialog box. If you have a disk with the software for the printer, put it into your CD-ROM/DVD drive and then click the Have Disk button: Select the drive that contains this disk in the Copy Manufacturer's Files From drop-down list and then click OK. If you don't have the disk, click the Windows Update button.

4. Click the Next button to advance to the Type a Printer Name dialog box. If you want, edit the name for the printer in the Printer Name text box before you click Next.

5. If you want to share the printer you're installing with other computers connected to your network, you may edit the printer name that appears in the Share Name text box as well as add a description of its location and comments about the shared printer in the Location and Comment text boxes, respectively. If you don't want to share the printer with other computers on the network, select the Do Not Share This Printer option (which automatically deselects the default Share This Printer So That Others on Your Network Can Find and Use It option) before you click Next.

6. To print a test page from your newly installed printer, click the Print a Test Page button in the Add a Printer dialog box before you click the Finish button to finish installing the new printer.

To use the Add Printer Wizard to install a printer that's available through your local area network, follow these (slightly different) steps:

1. Click the Add a Printer button on the Devices and Printers window toolbar and then select the Add a Network, Wireless, or Bluetooth Printer option before you click Next.

2. After Windows is finished searching for all printers on your network as well as all wireless printers in your vicinity, click the name of the printer to install in the Searching for Network Printers list box; then click Next.

3. (Optional) If the printer you want to install is not on this list or Windows fails to find and list the network or wireless printer, click the The Printer I Am Looking For Wasn't Listed link. To browse for the printer on the network, select the Browse for a Printer option and then click Next. To enter the pathname for the printer, leave the Select a Shared Printer by Name option selected and then type the pathname in its text box or use the Browse button to locate it before you click Next.

If you can't locate the printer on the network by browsing and don't know its pathname but do happen to know its IP (Internet Protocol) address, select the Add a Printer Using TCP/IP Address or Hostname option before you click Next. Then enter the IP address in the Host Name or IP Address text box, its port in the Port Name text box, and click Next. Windows then detects the printer, using the address you provide. After Windows locates the printer, click Next.

4. In the Ready to Install Printer dialog box, edit the name for the printer in the Printer Name text box if you want before you click Next.

5. To print a test page from the newly installed printer, click the Print a Test Page button in the Add a Printer dialog box before you click the Finish button to finish installing the new printer.

In addition to installing new printers in the Devices and Printers window, you can use its printer icons in the Printers and Faxes section to change printer settings and to control the jobs you send to it:

✓ To change the default printer for your computer programs, right-click the printer's icon and then choose Set as Default Printer from the shortcut menu that appears.

✓ To share a printer, assuming that the administrator of the computer has configured the Windows firewall to permit printer sharing, right-click its printer icon and then choose Printer Properties from its shortcut menu. Click the Sharing tab in the Properties dialog box, select the Share This Printer check box, and then give the printer a share name in the Share Name text box provided. To change the layout, paper, and print quality settings for a particular printer, you modify the appropriate settings on the General or Advanced tab of this Properties dialog box.

✓ To open the currently selected printer when it's processing or printing a print job (either to view the status of the jobs in the print queue or to cancel print jobs), right-click the printer's icon and then choose See What's Printing from its shortcut menu to open a dialog box for that printer. To pause a print job that's in progress, choose DocumentOPause from the pull-down menu. To cancel a job, click the print job listed in the queue and then choose DocumentOCancel.

To be able to print documents directly from Windows 7, rather than from within a particular program, create a desktop shortcut to your printer by right-clicking its icon in the Printers window and then selecting Create Shortcut from its shortcut menu. Then, simply drag the icon of the file you want printed and drop it on the printer's desktop shortcut. Windows 7 responds by opening that file in the program associated with its file type. That program then immediately sends the file to that printer for printing.

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