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Sunday, 11 May 2008

Tricks and Tips for Using Your Network Printer

Adapted From: Home Networking for Dummies:
The printing processes in Windows run smoothly and automatically most of the time, even across a network. However, knowing a few tricks makes network printing easier for all the users on your network.
Using a printer shortcut on the desktop

Sometimes you just need a printed copy of an existing document and you don't want to open the software, open the document, and use the commands that are required to print the document. If you put a shortcut to the printer on your desktop, you can drag documents to the shortcut icon to print them effortlessly. Follow these steps to create a printer shortcut on your desktop:

1. Choose Start --> Settings --> Printers.

The Printers folder opens.

2. Right-drag the printer icon to the desktop.

When you release the right mouse button, a shortcut menu appears.

3. Choose Create Shortcut(s) Here from the shortcut menu.

A printer shortcut appears on your desktop.

Using the printer shortcut is easy and timesaving. You can use it whenever you have any folder or window open (such as Windows Explorer, My Computer, or My Documents) that contains document files. Just drag a document file to the printer shortcut on the desktop. That's all you have to do - Windows does the rest.

Using separator pages to identify users

If everyone in your household uses the printers, you are likely to experience a lot of printer traffic. It's less messy if each job comes out of the printer with a form that displays the name of the owner. Luckily, such a form exists in Windows, and it's called a separator page. A separator page (sometimes called a banner) automatically prints ahead of the first page of each document.
Adding separator pages in Windows 95, 98, and Me

For a Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me print server, go to the computer that has the printer attached to turn on separator pages using these steps:

1. Choose Start --> Settings --> Printers.

The Printers folder opens.

2. Right-click the appropriate printer icon and choose Properties from the shortcut menu that appears.

The printer Properties dialog box opens, with the General tab in the foreground.

3. Click the arrow to the right of the Separator page list box and choose a Separator page type.

The Separator page choices are None, Full, and Simple. Both the Full and Simple separator pages contain the document name, the user name, and the date and time that the document was printed. The Full option uses large, bold type, whereas Simple uses the Courier typeface that's built into the printer.

4. Click OK.
Adding separator pages in Windows 2000 and Windows XP

If you have a Windows 2000 Professional print server, follow Steps 1 and 2 in the previous section "Adding separator pages in Windows 95, 98, and Me," and then follow these steps:

1. Click the Advanced tab.

2. Click the Separator Page button.

The Separator Page dialog box appears.

3. Click Browse to select a separator file.

Separator files have the .sep extension. Choose Sysprint.sep for PostScript printers or Pcl.sep for non-PostScript printers.

4. Click OK twice to close the dialog box.
Troubleshooting network printing

Sometimes when you're printing to a remote printer, you see an error message indicating that there was a problem printing to the port. (The port is the path to the remote computer that has the printer attached.) Before you panic, check the condition of all the hardware.
Check the print server

Computers that have printers attached (called print servers) have to be turned on if you want to print from a remote computer. If the computer is turned off, turn it on.

It doesn't matter whether you know the logon password for the user name that appears during the logon process; nobody has to be logged on to a computer to use its shared printer. The Windows operating system on that computer simply must be started.
Check the printer

Make sure that the printer is turned on. Check any buttons, indicator lights, or message windows that may be trying to tell you that something is amiss. When the printer's "ready" light isn't on, the most common problems are that the printer is out of paper, a paper jam has occurred, or the cartridge is out of toner (or ink).
Check the network cable

If the computer is on and the printer is fine, check the network cable. A cable that isn't connected properly can't send data.
Check the Windows XP SP2 Firewall

If a shared printer is on a computer running Windows XP SP2, make sure that the firewall is configured to allow access to the printer by remote computers. Use the following steps to view or change the firewall's settings:

1. Open the Properties dialog box for the network adapter.

2. Click the Advanced tab.

3. Click the Settings button.

4. Click the Exceptions tab.

5. Be sure a check mark appears in the File and Printer Sharing option.

Posted by: aroeltsm, Updated at: 5:12 am

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