After you have set up and shared network printers, user and company printing needs might require you to configure printer settings so that your printing resources better fit these needs.
Five common configuration changes you can make are as follows:
If the printing demands on your network increase and your network has an existing, nonshared printer for a print device, you can share it so that users can utilize the printer.
When you share a printer, you need to assign the printer a share name, which appears in My Network Places. Use an intuitive name to help users when they are browsing for a printer. You can also add printer drivers for all versions of Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 95, and Windows 98.
In the Properties dialog box for the printer, you can use the Sharing tab to share an existing printer (see Figure 6.7).
Figure 6.7 The Sharing Tab of the Properties dialog box for a printer
You would use the following steps to share an existing printer using the Sharing tab:
After you have shared the printer, Windows XP Professional puts an open hand under the printer icon, indicating that the printer is shared.
If you are sharing the printer with users whose computers are running different versions of Windows, you need to install different drivers. To verify which printer drivers are downloaded or to download printer drivers to your print server, use the following steps:
In the Additional Drivers dialog box (Figure 6.8), if the check box is selected, the printer drivers are downloaded.
Figure 6.8 The Additional Drivers dialog box
You are prompted to enter the path to the Windows XP Professional installation files.
The drivers are installed.
If the printing demands on your network change, you can stop sharing an existing shared printer. Use the Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box for that printer to stop sharing it. The steps to stop sharing a printer are similar to those for sharing a printer. However, in the steps to stop sharing a printer, in the Properties dialog box for the printer, in the Sharing tab, click Not Shared (see Figure 6.7) and then click OK.
A printer pool consists of two or more identical printers that are connected to one print server and act as a single printer. The printers can be local or network interface printers. Although the printers should be identical, you can use printers that are not identical but use the same printer driver. After you install a printer, you can create a printer pool using the Ports tab of the Properties dialog box for that printer. In the Ports tab, select the Enable Printer Pooling check box and select additional ports on the printer server (see Figure 6.9).
Figure 6.9 Enabling printer pooling
When you create a printer pool, users can print documents without checking which printer is available. The document prints on the first available printer in the printing pool.
When you set up a printer pool, you should place the printers in the same physical area so that users can easily locate their documents.
A printing pool has the following advantages:
Before you create a printer pool, make sure that you connect the printers to the print server.
To create a printing pool complete the following steps:
Setting priorities among printers makes it possible to set priorities among groups of documents that all print on the same physical printer. Multiple virtual printers point to the same physical printer, which allows users to send critical documents to a high-priority printer and noncritical documents to a lower priority printer. The critical documents always print first.
There are two things that you must do to set priorities among printers:
For example, see Figure 6.10. User1 sends documents to a printer with the lowest priority of 1, and User2 sends documents to a printer with the highest priority of 99. In this example, User2's documents always print before User1's.
Figure 6.10 Printer pool with different priorities set
Use the following steps to set the priority for a printer:
The Properties dialog box for the printer appears.
This value for a printer can be set from 1 through 99-the higher the number, the higher the priority of the printer.
Here are some questions to help you determine whether you have learned enough to move on to the next lesson. If you have difficulty answering these questions, review the material in this lesson before beginning the next lesson. The answers for these questions are in Appendix A, "Questions and Answers."