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Turn On and Manage Printer Sharing : Configure Advanced Printer Settings & Access a Local Printer

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Configure Advanced Printer Settings

The printer settings you configure as an administrator are applied network-wide. This means if you configure your shared printer preferences to make the printer available only during specific times of the day, then users can access the printer only during those times (unless they have additional permissions or administrator credentials). Additionally, you can configure spool settings, keep all printed documents, turn on or off advanced printing features, and more.

What is available to configure depends somewhat on what your printer offers, though. For instance, you may be able to change how many copies to make for each print by default, the print quality, the scaling options, and Adobe PostScript options such as optimizing for speed or creating a negative output, as well as toner darkness, smoothing, and image quality. You’ll need to browse through your printer options to find out exactly what’s available.

Configure Advanced Printer Settings

Advanced printer settings, those available on the Advanced tab in the printer’s Properties dialog box, are the same no matter what printer is installed. See Figure 1. The printing defaults and additional printer settings for printers differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model.

Figure 1. Advanced printer properties on the Advanced tab include the option to configure when the printer can be used and when it can’t.


To make a change to any setting, simply apply the change by selecting or deselecting the appropriate radio button or option. You can also select Available From and configure when the printer can and cannot be used.

A few concepts you may not be familiar with include the following:

Spooling In print spooling, documents are loaded into a buffer (usually an area on a hard disk) and are held until the printer acquires the data and readies it for print. Spooling lets you send a number of print jobs to the queue instead of waiting for each one to finish before sending another.

Mismatched documents The printer holds the print jobs in the queue that don’t match the setup for the printer, such as not having the right tray of paper attached to the printer.

Keep documents after they have printed The printer keeps documents that have printed in the queue in case you need to print them again.

Separator page The printer inserts a blank page at the beginning of each document to make it easier to find documents at the printer when multiple documents have printed.

For the most part, the default settings are the best, with the exception of limiting the times the printer can be used.

Configure Printing Defaults

As noted, printing defaults differ from printer to printer. In Figure 1, shown in the previous section, note the Printing Defaults button. Click this button to access and change the shared printer’s defaults. You’ll likely be able to change the following:

  • Orientation

  • Page order

  • Paper quality

  • Paper source

  • Paper size

  • Print quality

More expensive printers have additional options. Browse the options available for your printer, and configure the settings as desired.

Access a Local Printer

Generally you’ll print to a printer from an application such as a word processing, spreadsheet, database, or graphic imaging program. The option to print is frequently in the File menu, and often, an icon exists on a menu bar, a toolbar, or a separate pane in the interface. Figure 2 shows the Print option in Microsoft Office Word 2007.

Figure 2. In Office Word 2007, the Print options are located under the Microsoft Office Button in the toolbar.


Clicking Print almost always offers a Print dialog box (unless you perform a “quick” print), an example of which is shown in Figure 3. With administrator credentials, a user can change everything about the printer, including the printer properties and other options. Users with the ability to only print do not have these privileges, and administrator credentials are required to make changes.

Figure 3. Print by using the Print dialog box.

It doesn’t really matter what operating system you’re using when accessing a printer; what matters is the ability to locate it. Shared printers will appear listed in the drop-down list and are easily accessible. Figure 4 shows an example. Here, Fax is selected.

Figure 4. Select a local or network printer from the drop-down list.

You can also access shared printers that are connected to other PCs on the network by using the drop-down list shown in Figure 4, but you must manually add them first by using Control Panel. I detail how to do this next.


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