• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 17. Printing with Windows XP > Windows XP Printing Basics: Defining Som...

Windows XP Printing Basics: Defining Some Terms

Before you connect a printer to your computer, you should understand some of the terms that the Windows XP documentation uses when it discusses printing. These are as follows:

  • Printer—This is the actual physical printer that renders your output onto paper or some other material. In previous versions of Windows NT, this was referred to as the printer device, whereas the term printer was an abstract software concept that acted as an interface between the application and the physical printer.

  • Logical printer—Windows XP uses the term logical printer to refer to the interface between your application and the printer device. In other words, a logical printer under Windows XP is a software abstraction of the actual physical printer. Because of this separation, it is possible to create more than one printer, each of which sends its output to the same physical printer device. This can be useful when you want to set up printers that have different characteristics but use the same device. This can make the end-user's job a lot simpler, since she can choose a printer that supports the characteristics it requires, instead of having to configuring these characteristics for a single printer each time something different needs to be done. You can also set up printer pools, where output sent to a single logical printer is divided among several physical printers.

  • Print server—This is a computer dedicated to managing printers on a network. It can be any computer on the network and it can manage printers attached to local ports, as well as printers attached to the network. Clients can send their print jobs to the print server, which then sends the print job to the appropriate printer. One advantage of using a print server is that you do not have to load the drivers for all the printers the client uses on the client's workstation itself. Instead, when the client wants to print, it downloads the correct driver for the printer from the print server. Thus, when you install a physical printer, it is necessary to install the correct drivers on just the print server.

  • Print spooler—This term originated as an acronym for simultaneous print operations online. For Windows XP, the print spooler is a collection of dynamically linked libraries that receives, processes, schedules, and distributes documents for printing purposes. Documents can be stored in memory or on disk while the print spooler is manipulating them. You can view the documents currently “spooled” to print by double-clicking on the printer icon that appears when you send documents to print.

  • Print monitor—This term has two definitions: a language monitor and a port monitor. The language monitor is used if the printer can support bi-directional printing, which allows the spooler to obtain information about the printer from the printer. More important is the port monitor, which actually controls the input/output (I/O) process of sending the print job data to the physical printer.

  • Print processor—This is the component of the printing process that receives a print job and makes alterations to the data if necessary to make sure that the print job prints correctly. The print processor works with the printer driver to instruct the spooler on how to send the print job to the printer.

  • Print job—This is both the data to be printed and any code or commands needed to make the printed document print correctly.

  • Data types—Windows XP supports several printing data types. The spooler sends the raw data type to the printer with no changes made. This is the default for non-Windows clients. The Raw [FF appended] data type is the same as the raw type, but a form feed character is appended to the last page. The raw [FF auto] data type adds “FF” to the end of the last page of a print job only if one is not already present. The NT EMF (enhanced metafile) data type is the default for documents created by Windows clients. The file output is smaller than would be produced by a raw print type. Finally, the text data type is simply ANSI text.

  • Printer port—This is an interface between the printer and the computer. This can be a local physical port such as LPT1 or COM1, or it can be a network address for printers that reside on the network or on a print server.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint