Once you share a printer on the network, print clients can connect and send documents to it, thus realizing one of the chief benefits of computer networks: sharing of resources. When printers are shared, an entire network's printing needs can be serviced by a single print device.
If you're setting up a network printer, you are telling the print drivers on a local system to send the print job over the network to be managed by a printer that is stored on print server. (This is why the language lesson was first.)
To add a network printer to a client's Printers and Faxes folder, follow these steps:
When you confirm your choice, the appropriate print drivers for the network printer will need to be installed on your local machine. In a Windows-only environment, this will happen automatically: The print server will make the appropriate print drivers available, and the client will download and install these drivers automatically.
If you are printing to a print server located on a non-Windows machine, you might have to install drivers locally in a separate installation routine.
Now that you've learned how to use the Add Printer Wizard, it's time to learn about an even quicker way: to avoid all that clicking, just enter the printer's UNC path (if you know it) using the Run dialog box. (Click Start | Run to open the Run dialog box.) Yep, that's itthe printer will be set up automatically. Upon successful network connection to this shared printer, the contents of the print queue will be displayed, as shown in Figure 8-5.
Figure 8-5. Use the UNC path to quickly and easily set up a network printer.
And there's yet a third way to connect: you can also install a network printer by browsing for it in Windows Explorer. In the My Network Places folder, double-click the printer you want to set up. After a connection is established, you'll see the icon shown in Figure 8-6.
Figure 8-6. Notice the "pipe" on a network printer, indicating that it's not local.