Section 4.4. Adjusting Printer Settings

4.4. Adjusting Printer Settings

Virtually every program ever created by computerkind lets you print out documents by choosing File Print. Instead of whisking your work straight to the printer, Windows responds by summoning the famous Print dialog box (Figure 4-8).

Figure 4-8. Choose Print from any program's File menu to see this window. The layout varies subtly in some programs, but these basic elements always appear. Click OK to simply send your work to the highlighted printer. The window preselects the most common choices: one copy and all of the pages. But feel free to change the options to meet your needs. Click Preferences to change specific aspects of your print jobchoose black and white instead of color , for instance, or let the printer know you're going to feed it higher-quality paper.

To send your work to the printer without further ado, just click OK. But when you want to tailor your printout, these options appear in the print dialog box of almost every program.

  • Select Printer . Windows XP lists every printer connected to your PCwhether physically attached or networked. Choose the printer for your jobperhaps Martin's printer down the hall that's so much nicer than yoursand Windows sends your work to it. PCs with fax modems also show the fax as an available printer; choose it to start the process of sending a fax, described in the online appendix, "Other Cool Things You Can Do Online," available on the "Missing CD" page at

Tip: Want the Print dialog box to open with your favorite printer already highlighted for one-click printing? Then click Start Control Panel Printers and Faxes. Right-click your preferred printer from the list and then choose Set as Default Printer.

Choose Selection to print only the area you've highlightedthe "toppings" options from a Web site's pizza menu, for instance.

Copies . Leave this set to "1" to print a single a copy. But if you need a copy for everybody at the meeting, increase the number accordingly . To save a little time when printing copies of multipage documents, turn on the adjacent Collate checkbox. That prints your pages in orderpages 16, then another set of 16but it does take the computer a little longer to spit them all out. But rejoice: at least you're wasting the computer's time for change, and not the other way around.

Some programs add other options to the Print window. Microsoft Word, for instance, offers a Zoom area, letting you squeeze 2, 4, 6, 8, or 16 pages onto a single sheet of paper. The print's still legible when two pages squeeze onto a single sheet of paper; the other settings are useful mostly for graphics departments looking at a report's overall design, making sure the charts and reports carry a similar look and feel throughout a document.

Tip: You needn't open a file to print it. If you're comfortable with your default printer settings (Section 4.3), try this for a timesaver: from any folder, select the file or files you want to print, right-click them, and then choose Print. Windows opens each file in the program that created it, prints the file, and then closes the program.
Printing on Both Sides of the Paper

People who own expensive printers with a " duplexing " feature can simply click a button to print on both sides of the paper; the printer flips the paper automatically to fill the other side. The other 99 percent of the population employ the following trick to print on both sides of the paper; it's particularly useful for printing long documents.

  1. Insert one sheet of paper into your printer and take note of which side it prints on. (Sometimes penciling in an X on one side of the paper helps.)

  2. When printing your document, fill out the Page Range section with the document's odd numbers1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and so on. Or, if your software's Print window allows the option, choose Print Odd Numbers .

  3. When the document is through printing the odd numbers, reinsert the sheets of paper to print on the reverse side. (Depending on your printer model, you may need to reverse the pages and/or reverse their order to make sure page 2 prints right-side up on the back of page 1.)

  4. Print the even numbered pages.

Try printing a sample four-page document to experiment. You may waste a few sheets of paper until you figure out your printer's sequencing. But that's nothing compared to the amount of paper you'll save in the future.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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