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Chapter 21. Prescriptions for Perfect Pr... > Printing Documents in Windows 98

Printing Documents in Windows 98

One of Windows 98's principle missions in life is to give all the applications you use a reasonably consistent look and feel. This means that the vast majority of Windows applications use, for example, the same dialog box controls, the same method of selecting text, the same command for saving a file, and so on. Printing is a good example of this consistency. In most applications, with some relatively minor exceptions, you select File | Print (or in many programs, press Ctrl+P), fill out the Print dialog box that appears (see Figure 21.5), and click OK. The options in this dialog box vary between applications, but you usually see the following controls:

Name: This drop-down list tells you the name of the currently selected printer. When you first open the Print dialog box, the Name list displays the default Windows 98 printer. If you'd prefer to use a different printer (assuming you've installed more than one), select it from the list. The other fields in the Printer group give you information about the printer, such as its status and port.

Properties: This button displays a dialog box with a few options that are specific to the current printer. These options enable you to choose from various printer settings (such as selecting a paper tray).

Print to file: If you activate this check box, the document will be saved to a printer (PRN) file instead of going to the printer. When you click OK, the Print to File dialog box will appear so that you can enter the filename and select a location. See the section “Getting a 'Soft' Copy: Printing to a File” later in this chapter for more information on printing to a file.

Print range: Most applications let you print some or all of a document. In a word processor, for example, you can usually print the entire document, a range of pages, or the current selection.

Copies: You usually see a text box or spinner control for entering the number of copies you want. In some cases, you can also choose whether you want multiple copies collated. For example, suppose you want two copies of a three-page document. If you collate the print job, you get one copy of all three pages, followed by the second copy. If you don't collate, you get two copies of page 1, then two copies of page 2, and then two copies of page 3.



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