Learn what a print driver is and why you need it. Get information on hooking up two printers. Learn how to stop a print job. Save money by using this trick save ink when printing. Printers have definitely become consumer-friendly as of late. The price has come down, and the output has improved dramatically. Printers, however, are still the cause of confusion to quite a few of my readers. Here are some of the questions that I am most frequently asked regarding printers.
Q. What is a print driver and how often do I need to update my printer driver?
A. In general, a driver is a piece of software that the computer operating system needs in order to understand how to operate an attached device. The driver is very important because it also acts like a translator between the device and all programs that use the device. Every device attached to the computer including keyboard, mouse, printer, and scanner needs a driver.
Drivers are frequently updated to eliminate bugs and/or to incorporate changes. If your printer is working properly with all of your programs, you don t have to update it. If your printer doesn t work properly when you install new software, you should see if an updated driver is available. Also, if you move your printer to a new computer, you should always visit the Web site of the printer manufacturer to obtain the most current printer driver to install on the new computer.
Q. I have an old printer that I would like to hook up along side my nice new letter quality printer. This old printer will be ideal for draft copies and printing out some Internet pages. What is involved in hooking up two printers to the same computer?
A. It is easy to hook up two printers to one computer. If they both attach by USB port, you just install the print drivers for both of them and plug them both into the computer's USB ports.
Remember when you are printing, one of these two printers will probably be your default printer. When using the other printer, you will need to change the choice of printers. This can usually be done right from the Print screen. After you have clicked on Print, you will be given a drop down Print Box. The selection of printers can be seen by clicking the down arrow next to the Name box. Click on your printer of choice to select it; then click OK to print.
Q. Often after clicking Print, I find mistakes (the document was incorrectly spaced or I have corrections to make) or I change my mind about printing it. How can I stop this print job and save paper and effort?
A. Stop the print job by clicking on Start, then Settings, then Printers. Choose your printer if there are more than one on the list. Then choose Printer from the menu at the top of the screen and click on Purge Print Documents.
If you see a printer icon on the lower right-hand side of the task bar at the bottom of the screen, you may be able to double-click it for a faster way to bring up the print window where you can purge the print documents.
Both of these ways of stopping a print job can be time-consuming and sometimes the print job finishes before you can stop it. Because of this many printer manufacturer's now have a "Stop" or "Cancel" button that you can press to immediately stop a print job. If you have a newer printer with this option, it is definately the best way to stop a print job.
Q. Is there any clever way to be cost-effective when printing? I seem to have more paper than ever and know that each sheet is a minor expense that can mount up to a major cost.
A. Ink jet printer prices have dropped dramatically, but the price of ink can be overwhelming. Printing in draft mode can save quite a bit of ink and money. Click on Start, then Settings, then Printer. Click on the name of your ink jet printer. Then choose Properties from the menu at the top of the page. Look for the tab that indicates the quality of the print, usually labeled Document/Quality. Choose the lowest quality available. This is often called Draft Mode or Quick Print. Although the print quality will be diminished, it is usually adequate for most everyday paperwork. If you want, you can also set the printer to print only in black to save on the more expensive color ink. You might want to consider making the draft mode and back ink only your default settings. Whenever you are preparing documents that need a more impressive look, you could specify the high quality print settings.