When Microsoft released its original version of MS-DOS, it included printing features that supported the then-available printers: chisel and stone. Fortunately, printing has come a long way since then. These days, advanced color laser printers and even "paperless" printing systems (like Adobe Acrobat) provide printer support that rivals that of professional four-color offset printing facilities.
Although the .NET Framework does not replace the print spooler system built into each version of Windows, it makes it greatly accessible. As you'll read in this chapter, a printer is now treated like any other .NET drawing surface. The statements you use to draw on a form or control can be copied and pasted directly into your printing code.
This chapter provides a general discussion of .NET printing support. A discussion of report printing appears in the next chapter. If you are reading this chapter in its electronic format through the Safari publishing system, you can still rush right out and plunk down the funds for a hardcopy version of this book. Having that tactile response from the surface of the page should get you in the mood for this chapter's discussion of ink and paper.