If you are familiar with the concept of sharing folders over a network, you already have the fundamentals of network printing. Just as file sharing is the act of making a file resource available on the network, print sharing makes a print resource available to users who have connectivity.
And even if you're not familiar with this concept, it's really easy to set up. In fact, you can share the printer to other network users while you're setting it up with the Add Printer Wizard. In the Printer Sharing dialog box, simply choose the "Share name" radio button, as shown in Figure 8-3, and give the printer a name.
Figure 8-3. Sharing a printer at installation time.
You also have the option to share out the printer at a later time using the printer's Properties dialog box. You'll use the Sharing tab in the printer's Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 8-4. Similar to the previous task, just click the "Share this printer" radio button, enter a name for the printer in the Share Name box, and then click OK.
Figure 8-4. You specify a share name after you share the printer.
The share name you assign to the printer does not have to match the printer name. Users will use the share name to make a network connection to the printer, and you can use more intuitive names than are sometimes given printers at setup time. Also, keep in mind that any MS-DOS clients of your shared printer will not be able to see names longer than eight characters.
Once you've shared the printer on the network, a hand will appear under the printer icon. This hand means you've just changed your XP machine into a print server.